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Conserving and Preserving 
Library Materials 



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Number 27 

Papers Presented at the Allerton Park Institute 
Sponsored by 

) t_i (-. > j^ 

University of Illinois 
Graduate School of Library and Information Science 


November 15-18, 1981 

Illini Union 
Urbana, Illinois 

Conserving and Preserving 
Library Materials 



University of Illinois 

Graduate School of Library and Information Science 
Urbana -Champaign, Illinois 

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 
Main entry under title: 

Conserving and preserving library materials. 

"Papers presented at the Allerton Park Institute, 
sponsored by University of Illinois, Graduate School of 
Library and Information Science, held November 15-18, 
1981, Illini Union, Urbana, Illinois." 

Includes index. 

1 . Library materials Conservation and restoration 
Congresses. 2. Books Conservation and restoration 
Congresses. 3. Paper Preservation Congresses. 
I. Henderson, Kathryn Luther. II. University of 
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Graduate School of Library 
and Information Science. IV. Allerton Park Institute 
(27th : 1981 : Urbana, 111.) 

Z701.C587 1983 025.84 83-3537 

ISBN 0-87845-067-X 

1983 by The Board of Trustees of The University of Illinois 

COP 3 



Kathryn Luther Henderson 
William T Henderson 




Robert H. Patterson 




Pamela W. Darling 




Carolyn Clark Morrow 




Carolyn Harris 





Gerald W. Lundeen 


Gerald D. Gibson 



William T Henderson 




Louise Kuflik 



James Orr 
William Anthony 
Leedom Kettell 
Anita Werling 



D.W. Krummel 




E. Dale Cluff 


INDEX . 203 


One of the chief concerns in library administration and operations for the 
1980s is the conservation and preservation of library materials, an area, 
which for too long, has been neglected. Faced with rapid deterioration of 
collections from the ravages of time plus increased widespread use and 
transportation of materials through networking operations coupled with 
the rising cost of materials, supplies and staff and other problems asso- 
ciated with inflation, librarians and archivists are finding it increasingly 
difficult to preserve their collections. 

A dozen years have passed since a landmark conference at the Univer- 
sity of Chicago Graduate Library School brought to the profession's 
attention the serious problems of deterioration and opened up for the 
decade of the seventies many solutions which are now being implemented. 
In choosing the topic for the annual Allerton Park Institute, the faculty of 
the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University 
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign thought it appropriate, at this time, to 
assess the state-of-the-art and to help set the objectives for the 1980s in 
conserving and preserving library and archival materials. Specifically the 
objectives of the conference were to make it possible for those in attendance 
to: note the scope of preservation problems; discover the philosophy of 
preservation and conservation of library materials; learn new methods and 
techniques in the field; identify new research needs; discover cooperative 
approaches and programs; receive current information on developments 
in paper manufacturing, deacidification, etc.; gather information on pres- 
ervation of nonpaper materials such as film, recordings, computer records 
etc.; learn how and when to use the services of binders, restoration special- 
ists and others outside die local library; learn how restoration specialists 

Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

work; and find ways to implement a conservation/preservation policy in a 
local library. 

From November 15 to 18, 1981 , over one hundred librarians, curators, 
archivists, conservators, binders, and library and information science 
faculty and students gathered together to attempt to meet these objectives 
through the messages of speakers, the viewing of exhibits and demonstra- 
tions, and discussion with others. 

Warning that the 1980s are the "best of times, the worst of times" for 
library conservation and preservation efforts, the keynote speaker, Robert 
H. Patterson, deems these areas the biggest challenge of the next two 
decades for librarians. Since a shortage of trained and educated personnel 
exists in these areas, librarians must take the responsibility for education 
about preservation by designing and implementing their own programs. 
Preservation is expensive and, therefore, is a crucial part of library manage- 
ment requiring critical judgment and cooperative efforts. Such efforts call 
for high quality information on preservation including information about 
clearinghouses and regional treatment centers as well as judicious apprais- 
al of newly developed commercial products. Urging that almost all librar- 
ies establish a preservation committee, Patterson outlines the 
responsibilities for such committees. Many of Patterson's points are elabo- 
rated by other speakers. 

Reiterating a theme broached by Patterson, Pamela W. Darling notes 
that preservation is not solely the domain of a few persons who are 
specialists in the field, but is the responsibility of all librarians. To help 
librarians utilize information that is emerging on preservation, research 
efforts are underway by a number of individuals and organizations. With 
her charge being to describe some of these efforts, Darling notes the 
Collection Analysis Project (CAP) of the Association of Research Libraries 
(ARL)XOffice of Management Studies (OMS) which called upon many 
libraries, for the first time, to take a serious look at preservation needs and 
possibilities as well as other projects of OMS and the Basic Archival 
Conservation Program of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). She 
also discusses professional education programs in conservation/preserva- 
tion now being developed by library schools as well as other research 
activities in professional organizations and "invisible colleges." In con- 
cluding, she notes that only a coordination of all efforts, a sharing of 
developments, and a dissemination of information will result in solutions 
to the problems of preservation. 

Some such coordinating and sharing efforts are chronicled by Carolyn 
Clark Morrow. She cites the ARL reports of 1964 and 1972 and the 1969 
University of Chicago Graduate Library School's conference as "early 
warnings" to librarians about the realities of preservation needs. Between 
the two ARL reports, the Florence flood brought together conservation 


experts from around the world to aid in recovery and reclamation efforts 
and to experience, for the first time, the synergism of working together. 
Other events of particular importance to the growing efforts at cooperation 
have been the formation of the National Conservation Advisory Council; 
the Research Libraries Group (RLG) which, for the first time, united an 
integrated preservation program with dissemination and access; the 
National Preservation Planning Conference held at the Library of Con- 
gress (LC) and the recent establishment of the Preservation of Library 
Materials Section (PLMS) within the American Library Association's 
(ALA) Resources and Technical Services Division (RTSD). The best 
known regional conservation effort has been that of the Northeast Docu- 
ment Conservation Center (NEDCC) which serves several hundred clients 
and provides professional treatment for a wide variety of materials. Other 
cooperative efforts which Morrow discusses are the Book Preservation 
Center, serving the New York metropolitan area; the Western States Mate- 
rials Conservation Project; the statewide preservation plan developed for 
Colorado; and the Illinois Cooperative Conservation Program growing 
out of a plan developed at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. 
Areas which Morrow feels are feasible on a cooperative basis for conserva- 
tion/preservation activities are information, consulting, surveying, cost 
sharing, coordination and treatment. She concludes with ways that these 
can be accomplished cooperatively. 

In her paper on "Preservation of Paper Based Materials: Mass Deacidi- 
fication Methods and Projects," Carolyn Harris notes that the term deacid- 
ification is actually a misnomer. The acid in the paper is neutralized and is 
buffered so that new acid formed in the paper through further degradation 
or introduced through pollution is also neutralized. Mass deacidification 
of library materials will not return the items to their original condition 
brittle items are still brittle but the process of deacidification does return 
the items to a neutralized state and buffers them as well. Harris evaluates 
the four most commonly used forms of deacidification vapor phase de- 
acidification ( VPD), the Barrow morpholine process, Wei T'o, and diethyl 
zinc (DEZ) against criteria that have been determined essential for a good 
mass deacidification process. Despite these efforts, Harris warns that "mass 
deacidification is not the fountain of youth we're seeking; and can't ever 
be." The future in this area depends on creation of the awareness of library 
needs among publishers, the economics of papermaking, the development 
of information storage techniques such as optical discs and complete 
preservation programs which may, some day, include mass deacidi- 

Gerald W. Lundeen picks up on Harris's comments concerning the 
paper industry by reporting on research and developments in that industry 
which are affecting die preservation of paper based materials. He reminds 

Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

us that the essential nature of paper has changed little since its invention in 
China in A.D. 105 paper still consists of cellulose fibers suspended in water 
and formed into a matted sheet on screens; however, while handmade 
methods have changed little, modern machinemade paper is very complex 
and a highly capital-intensive mix of craft, science and engineering. 
Decrease in paper strength can be explained primarily by two synergistic 
chemical processes which attack the paper over time (1) acid catalyzed 
hydrolysis of the cellulose polymer linking bond, and (2) oxidation; but 
paper is susceptible to many other degradation processes: therefore, the 
study of chemical reactions in paper is difficult and especially so in trying 
to attribute the effects in physical properties to specific reactions. On the 
encouraging side, Lundeen notes a trend toward use of alkaline paper as 
reported by monitoring tests at the Library of Congress. He attributes this 
trend to economic reasons rather than concern about the lasting quality of 
paper. Therefore, librarians must continue to work to influence even more 
publishers to adopt long-lasting paper. This can be done by insisting that 
standards for paper quality be used when purchasing library materials and 
by continued work through professional organizations to enhance the 
longevity of paper based materials. 

Considerably less concern for the longevity of nonpaper based mate- 
rials has been exhibited by librarians than has been shown for pa per based 
materials, yet the problems of these newer materials may be as great, if not 
greater, than those of paper based materials. Indeed, the problems of paper 
based materials are not escaped with nonpaper based materials since the 
latter frequently carry paper labels. In addition, the newer materials are 
often composed of a mix of materials and these various combinations may 
find one substance interacting with another according to Gerald D. Gib- 
son, who reviews the principal preservation problems faced in preserving 
the nonpaper based materials and cites the storage conditions and preser- 
vation procedures recommended today. He does not neglect the containers 
and labels of these materials, speaking to their preservation when they are 
particularly important. Gibson sees encouraging signs through the active 
interest presently being shown in the preservation of nonpaper based 
materials by a number of organizations in the private and public sectors 
and he reviews the most promising current research and development in 
this area. 

"Preservation and Conservation Decisions in the Local Library" are 
delineated by William T Henderson. Organizing his decisions around 
Daniel Boorstin's division of preservation problems into epistemological 
(or social) questions and technical questions, Henderson cites three broad 
areas under the first set of questions: Should a library preserve its mate- 
rials? What should be preserved? and How should things be preserved? 
Under technical questions, he includes those of preserving the intellectual 


content versus preserving the original artifact or both. He ends with a 
description of the treatment of mildew with orthophenylphenol as an 
illustration of his points. 

Probably an area of conservation and preservation about which librar- 
ians are least familiar is that relating to the steps taken by the conservator 
for restoring an item that merits this special kind of conservation because 
of its intrinsic or artifactual value. Louise Kuflik presents the conservator's 
decision making process noting that a careful assessment of the problems 
associated with the item is always made and the principle of reversibility is 
always applied because a better technique or better material may appear in 
the future. Kuflik cites the careful physical examination of the item made 
by the conservator and notes the conditions which are documented before 
the conservator suggests the proposed treatment and estimates the length 
of the process. After the decision has been made by the curator of the item to 
proceed with the conservation, the conservator makes further decisions 
concerning deacidification, paper mending, washing of the paper, etc. All 
decisions are based on consideration of use and the stability of materials. 

A panel of four representatives from commercial services spoke to 
their roles in the conservation and preservation of library materials. The 
first to speak was James Orr, Hertzberg-New Method, Inc., Jacksonville, 
Illinois. In the commercial binding business for thirty-five years, Orr notes 
the procedures in the business that have remained essentially the same over 
that period in time, while emphasizing the changes that have occurred in 
the binding business as firms attempt to handle current materials as well as 
semi-rare materials. Orr notes that there are many other new developments 
which commercial library binders are considering and applying in order to 
continue to serve their library customers. He emphasizes the development 
of a new adhesive which, in many cases, is replacing oversewing. 

Leedom Kettell, Gaylord Bros., Inc., Syracuse, New York, represented 
library supply houses. Recognizing that the world is vastly different today 
from that of eighty-five years ago when the two Gaylord brothers founded 
the firm and could personally seek the advice of librarians as to new 
products and could, then, make the products in the Gaylord plant, Kettell 
finds that today the Gaylord firm is defining itself more as a vendor or 
distributor of products developed by companies that have large research 
and development components. He describes a plastic, polypropolene, 
which is soon to be marketed by Gaylord providing pamphlet binders and 
boxes for preservation. 

Representing hand binders was William Anthony of Kner & Anthony 
Bookbinders, Chicago, a firm specializing in conservation work and fine 
bindings. Materials receiving the conservation process generally fall into 
two categories: those with brittle paper (from the eighteenth through 
twentieth centuries) and those with flexible paper (from the fifteenth 

Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

through seventeenth centuries). Anthony explains some of the procedures 
used in his conservation studio for dealing with brittle paper and 

Preservation microfilming, an activity which has been going on for 
over fifty years either to preserve the artifact or the intellectual content (or 
both), has become increasingly popular in recent years. Anita Werling, 
University Microfilms International, describes this type of microfilming as 
well as micropublishing and republishing. She identifies several large 
microfilming projects which have made important works available to a 
wider range of libraries and she relates some decisions which an individual 
library must make when the choice is between saving the object or the 
intellectual content. Werling gives some advice for librarians faced with 
the decision of microfilming locally versus sending the material to a 
commercial microfilmer or micropublisher. 

Using Johannes Kepler's conclusion to his Harmonice mundi as a 
statement of the conservator's cause before the world of scholarship, D.W. 
Krummel goes on to state what can be expected from scholarly researchers 
in the way of dialoguing on conservation policy, and handling and using 
library materials. Admittedly, there are different kinds of scholars resulting 
in different concepts of library conservation appropriate to each. Krummel 
concludes that since the classic distinction between physical form and 
intellectual content will not go away, the medium will continue to be 
necessary to the scholars of the future; therefore, the scholar must be 
sensitive to the problems of the conservator and sympathetic to the need for 
conservation policy. 

All of the above considerations are for naught unless the top library 
administration takes an active and responsible role in conservation and 
preservation. E. Dale Cluff, Director of Library Services, Southern Illinois 
University at Carbondale, centers his presentation of that role and respon- 
sibility around two challenges: how to cope with present resources and 
facilities (i.e., curing present ills) and how to insure that steps are taken to 
prevent the same mistakes from happening again. A library can begin its 
preservation role by becoming aware of the necessity for a comprehensive 
policy, and making the library staff at all levels aware of that need. Strong 
support must come from the top administration. Other activities which 
must be completed include assessing the needs in some detail; determining 
the manner in which materials are presently handled; ascertaining the 
physical condition of materials presently on library shelves; and finally, 
setting priorities from among the determined needs. Cluff elaborates upon 
these and other administrative aspects. 

In addition to the published papers, the proceedings include the 
discussion sessions that followed each presentation. These sessions were 
taped at the conference and transcribed and edited for the proceedings. 


Names of the speakers are identified when they were clearly audible from 
the tapes; otherwise, speakers are unidentified. Impossible to include in the 
published proceedings is what transpired at the Tuesday evening "Conser- 
vation/Preservation Fair" during which time several demonstrations and 
exhibits were available to the conferees. This proved to be a very popular 
and well received part of the conference. Carolyn Jane Gammon, Conser- 
vator, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, assisted by 
Daniel Freeman, displayed many tools, techniques and materials that can 
be used in the local library to foster conservation activities. James Orr, 
Hertzberg-New Method, Inc., Jacksonville, Illinois, along with Tom Far- 
rell and Jim Fischel explained to the participants the many facets of 
commercial binding and demonstrated, in person and through audiovisu- 
al means, many of the techniques. William Anthony, assisted by Bernie 
Anthony, answered questions about their exhibit of "before and after" 
examples illustrating the work done in the Kner & Anthony conservation 
studio in Chicago. Gerald Gibson, Library of Congress, presented slides 
illustrating many of the points he made in his presentation earlier that day 
in addition to making further explanations and comments about the video 
disc as a future means of storage and preservation of information. During 
this time, too, each of the speakers was present to answer questions or to 
comment on his/her presentation. 

The anatomy of a conference takes many shapes and involves many 
persons who should be recognized for their contributions. It is not possible 
to mention every person who made some contribution to this conference, 
but there are some who should be singled out for special recognition. First 
of all, we are grateful to the faculty of the Graduate School of Library and 
Information Science (GSLIS) for putting aside a previously agreed upon 
topic until another year in order that this especially timely topic might be 
given priority. The faculty Planning Committee for the conference 
included Dean Charles H. Davis and D.W. Krummel, who assisted the 
co-chairpersons in many ways. As a GSLIS conference proceeds, the staff of 
the University's Division of Conferences and Institutes of the Office of 
Continuing Education and Public Services soon becomes involved and we 
particularly acknowledge the work of Ronald G. Sears, Mary E. Bussert 
and Mary R. Lewis from that division for their untiring efforts at handling 
the myriad of logistical and support services which provide for registra- 
tion, accommodation, transportation, publicity, and so many other 
important details. Each of the speakers and each participant at the Tuesday 
evening "Conservation/Preservation Fair" enthusiastically accepted and 
carried out his/her responsibility. A number of University of Illinois 
faculty assisted in chairing sessions: Walter C. Allen, Charles H. Davis, 
Linda C. Smith, and Terry L. Weech, from the GSLIS, and Maynard J. 
Brichford and Jean Geil from the University of Illinois Library. The 

Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

following GSLIS students were responsible for taping the sessions so that 
the discussions and comments to the presentations could be included in the 
proceedings: Deborah Beckel, Cynthia Fugate, Allen Hoffman, Elaine 
Huang, Kerry Miller, Deborah Pierce, Kathryn Prichard, Catherine Salika, 
and Janet Stolp. Kathryn Painter, of the GSLIS staff, carefully transcribed 
the tapes and cheerfully performed many other responsibilities before and 
after the conference, while Steve Andrews, Learning Resources Labora- 
tory, served as photographer for the Tuesday evening session. 

In the final analysis, this conference does not end with the publication 
of its proceedings, but in the action of those who have heard and heeded its 
messages. Long since, we have all become aware of the truth that our 
worldly library and archival treasures of books, maps, photographs, 
recordings, films, tapes (even computer tapes) are finite and perishable 
diey can be "here today" and, perhaps, "gone tomorrow" as books become 
brittle, maps break at the folds and seams, photographs fade, recordings 
warp, films ignite, and tapes erase. At the end of the conference, no doubt 
some attendees found little solace as once again they learned that these 
problems are persistent and universal no one has yet performed a miracle 
in this area. Perhaps, the conference even increased the anxiety for some 
dangers that might not even have been suspected are lurking in their 
libraries and archives now there is more, not less, to cause worry. If 
anxieties have increased, so, too, do we hope has resolve toward finding 
solutions to the problems. We hope that each person has been touched in 
some way by the messages of the conference and will find some new ways to 
try out, some new sources and resources in material and people to call 
upon, and some increased support to persist in the struggles that lie ahead. 
This seems the time to move from the dire prophecies concerning the doom 
that the future holds for our collections into the "good news" that a 
concerted effort is being launched in many ways to conserve and preserve 
our collections and to move toward action to spread the "gospel" of 
preservation. We thank each person who attended the conference and who 
will read the proceedings for the challenges that each takes up and the 
actions that each brings about to accomplish the goals of "conserving and 
preserving library materials." 




Director of Libraries 

McFarlin Library 

University of Tulsa 

Conservation: What We Should Do 

Until the Conservator and the 

Twenty-First Century Arrive 

Let me begin parenthetically by saying that the keynote speaker at least 
in my mind has both the greatest of handicaps and advantages before him 
or her. In a conference where a large number of speakers are present, like 
this one, she/he must avoid being specific about anything, unless she/he 
duplicates what others plan to say. My remarks, then, must be of the most 
general nature. And the danger from too broad a generality is that the 
comments may not be direct enough to be valuable. On the other hand, the 
advantage that I see is an opportunity to present a broad overview of a 
complex and challenging subject that has filled my professional life with 
some of its greatest difficulties and greatest joys. 

The Challenge to Conservation in Difficult Times 

To paraphrase Dickens, these are the best and the worst of times. We 
certainly are confronted by a serious economic situation nationally and 
internationally, and the support libraries enjoyed only a few years ago 
(relatively speaking) is diminishing. With the exception of a few fortunate 
institutions, largely in the Sun Belt, funds for staffing, new services and 
programs, and acquisitions are diminishing. Americans are historically 
optimistic, I believe, and we all look to things getting better. Perhaps they 
will, but many of us believe that they will get worse before that occurs. On 
the other hand, what I believe to be great advances and opportunities are 
taking place in preservation now and in the future. Conservation must be 
put in a broad perspective. 

I will say that the advent of a heightened preservation awareness, 
coupled to the development of improved managerial systems to administer 

10 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

programs, plus the revolutionary impact of technology generally on 
libraries, creates the greatest of ironies. Our resources are smaller, and with 
all the existing programs libraries are struggling to manage we must if 
we are to meet our professional responsibilities add another expensive 
program, that of conservation. And, while we attempt to mount this 
program, we must be increasingly conscious that the emerging informa- 
tion delivery and storage technology will increasingly make printed 
records obsolete. This is to say, and I will speak to this question later on, 
that we must not only attempt to develop preservation programs, but that 
we must also develop stronger critical facilities about what we intend to 
save, and how we intend to go about it. We have more choices today than 
we had five years ago, and the number of choices will increase as we move 
toward the next century. 

Preservation as a Library- Wide Concern 

One of the most important views I can impart to you is that preserva- 
tion is a library-wide concern, and that librarians must be the persons who 
will develop preservation programs. I will say that in my experience, in 
most libraries, it is the rare book and special collections staff who initially 
take the leadership of preservation, and who work harder with their 
administrations to develop programs, competing as they do with other 
library programs and services. It is, of course, natural for them to do so. 
They are, by definition, protectors of those materials deemed to be more 
valuable than those in the general collections. But it has been my observa- 
tion that since most libraries do not consider their special collections 
programs to be in the mainstream of their programs, they are not always 
successful in competing for additional funds. Also, it has been my expe- 
rience that the needs of special collections librarians (real or imagined) 
may be treated by general administrators as esoteric, elitist, even precious. 
The result for an emerging preservation program is that it may take a long 
time in gaining support. I realize in saying this that this will not parallel 
the experience in some institutions, but that it has been the experience in 
many. (But, in fairness, let me also say that special collections librarians 
often do not see the need for preservation programs in the general collec- 
tions.) They certainly do so, and if they do work to educate the library staff 
throughout the library, they will have created a successful strategy that 
builds a groundswell that will convince administrators of the need for such 
a program. 

The Conservator and The Twenty-First Century 1 1 

Preservation as the Responsibility of the Librarian 

My earlier point, the second one, is that librarians must take the 
responsibility for educating themselves about conservation. They must 
educate themselves to the point that they can design and implement their 
own programs. To wait for the conservator, unless one works in an 
institution blessed with enormous resources and good fortune, is like 
waiting for Godot, although it is hoped, with a more positive long-term 
outcome. The reason we must take this responsibility is because we cur- 
rently lack the corps of conservators we need. In my view, the preservation 
profession is at the same stage of development that librarianship was in 
during the last two decades of the nineteenth and first two decades of the 
twentieth century. With an exponential rate of change characteristic of the 
last years of this century, we may not expect to wait as long for the 
preservation profession to develop as we did for the library profession. At 
this time, conservation does not generally have an accepted curriculum. In 
a society which has developed highly structured educational paths for 
careers of all kinds from neurosurgeon to cosmetologist, no clearly defined 
way yet exists in preservation in which to seek such a career. There are some 
most hopeful and promising developments taking place right now, but the 
apprenticeship and internship system which has been the prevailing 
means of educating conservators is still the rule rather than the exception. I 
do not mean to suggest that years of hands-on experience still will not be 
necessary for the conservator, any more than years of experience do not 
improve the practice of any profession. 

But for the time being, there is a shortage of professionals in the 
preservation world, and while it may be alleviated within the next ten to 
twenty years, librarians will have to, as I said earlier, educate themselves 
and develop programs to meet their needs. Actually, I am comfortable 
about that, because I believe it parallels the way in which librarians have 
learned to use another technology automation. Within the past twenty 
years we have seen librarians educate themselves to the point that, while 
they were not electrical engineers or computer programmers, they under- 
stood the basic principles of data processing and articulated their needs to 
the computer professionals who designed the systems. Many libraries now 
have automation officers on their staffs who, in most cases, are librarians 
with data processing expertise. Within the next few years, we will have 
preservation officers again librarians with the necessary training. 

The New Technology and Preservation 

The emerging technology which at this time librarians are not 
successfully assimilating or interpreting in my view offers, in the view of 

12 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

some, the prospect of a paperless society. While I personally do not believe 
that Gutenberg is dead, or that paper will become unknown in the next 
century, we should try hard to grasp the fact that the new technology adds a 
complex and challenging factor to preservation. Electronic publishing, 
alternative forms of electronic transmission (using fiber optics and satel- 
lites), new forms of micropublishing (including laser disc with astonish- 
ing image storage capacity), mean that we must exercise a greater 
selectivity and discrimination in decision making. I believe that signifi- 
cant changes in die basic ways in which information is stored and made 
accessible will change. I do not believe that the library of printed material 
will go away, but that it may be initially augmented, and then, perhaps, 
largely supplanted by new forms. We must also recognize that the new 
means of storing information are unlikely (from the very dim vantage 
point of today) to retrospectively convert all existing printed matter into 
the new electronic formats. 

Preservation in the Context of Collection Development 

This leads to the role of the librarian in collection development, of 
which preservation is a part. My need here, however, is to point out that 
preservation is a part of the decision -making that librarians are qualified 
to make (in consort with the scholarly community, to be sure), that deal 
with the question which is the most basic one: What do we need to keep as 
objects for their own intrinsic value as objects; and what intellectual 
content do we need to preserve? In both cases, what means do we use to 
make our decisions? There are a number of alternatives in both cases, and 
dieir number will increase over the next two decades. 

You will hear at this conference from a number of speakers who will 
give you a clear idea of what kinds of choices one has in preservation. 
Again, I must remind you that they represent parts of the broad continuum 
of options which exist in a collection development program, which is 
another way of saying collection management. George Cunha, one of the 
nation's outspoken champions of conservation has been saying for years 
dial librarians must create and sustain conservation programs and that 
conservation is, after all, management. 

Costs and Implications 

A fact of preservation is that it is expensive, whether one is looking at 
it from a perspective of binding, establishing environmental controls, 
providing optimum housing conditions, simple repairs, mass deacidifica- 
tion, microform applications, etc. Given that, and die state of resources 
now or in the immediate future, I will draw several conclusions. The first is 

The Conservator and The Twenty-First Century 13 

that we must exercise the greatest critical judgment in determining in what 
form we will preserve materials or their intellectual content; and second, 
that the impulse for cooperation promises enormous short- and long-term 
benefits. The library profession has a good track record of cooperation 
almost from the beginning of its development one hundred years ago with 
its collective programs such as interlibrary loan and now online systems. 
Given a shortage of professional conservators, short funding, and 
increased knowledge about the rarity of materials which online biblio- 
graphic systems should offer, we can set about to share resources. 

Collective Action 

The thrust toward cooperative action in preservation is, I believe, its 
most dynamic characteristic at this time. That impulse to join together has 
taken shape to meet one of the most pressing goals in preservation today 
that of providing education. You will hear considerably more on this 
subject in the coming days. At this time, let me say only that an explosion 
of information in preservation is taking place today, and one of the greatest 
needs we have is for selective, high quality information. To meet that need, 
a number of institutions and agencies are currently examining the concept 
of information clearinghouses, as you will hear. I also believe that another 
collective proposal that ultimately will find support is the regional treat- 
ment center. You will hear more of that also as this program continues. 

I want to stress that I believe preservation to be the greatest challenge 
the library and archival professions will face in the next decades. The 
reason I believe that is the continuing need for good information. Also, 
preservation is not likely to be supported by commercial applications of 
technological developments as library automation was bouyed along by 
computer technology. The potential for enormous technological applica- 
tion, including increased interest from the private sector, is there, but I 
think it unlikely that the kind of off-the-shelf systems one encounters now 
will be available soon. This is certainly not to say that the commercial 
sector does not have (and in some cases has not had), the greatest of interest 
in preservation. We have seen a large number of new products appear 
recently, and I feel quite safe in assuring you that there will be more. And, 
like many of the new automation products, they will promise much. They 
will often deliver what they promise, but occasionally will not do so. My 
advice is to look at new products of all kinds with the same caution you 
should exercise in looking at other products in our profession. 

14 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Organizing for Preservation 

I would like now to make some very specific suggestions of ways in 
which you can begin immediately to set up a preservation program in your 
institution, or to strengthen the program you have now. You will find 
these suggestions in a large number of places in the literature, and I will try 
to pull them together for you here. In my experience they represent a way of 
addressing some basic needs. All but the smallest of libraries can create a 
preservation committee, or at least charge an individual with developing 
expertise and responsibility in that area. 

Briefly stated, these committee charges, or responsibilities are as fol- 
lows: (1) examine the library's physical environment, and make recommen- 
dations for enhancing environmental factors, including an effective 
monitoring system; (2) prepare a disaster plan for the library; (3) examine 
current bindery, handling, processing and repair practices, making recom- 
mendations to bring these procedures into conformity with accepted con- 
servation practices; (4) explore avenues which will provide the library with 
access to professional conservation expertise and facilities; (5) explore and 
recommend what in-house physical repair and treatment can be under- 
taken for providing better housing, and minor repair of materials; 
(6) develop a collection development approach for dealing with materi- 
als, developing systematic options for storing and accessing mate- 
rials; (7) identify possible sources of funding for conservation programs, 
including national, regional state and local sources; (8) establish an in- 
house clearinghouse of preservation information for the use of staff; and 
(9) explore the feasibility of joining cooperative conservation efforts at 
local, regional and national levels. (These charge responsibilities are out- 
lined in my article appearing in the May 15, 1979 issue of Library Journal 
entitled "Organizing for Conservation.") 

In closing, I hope that I have given that broader perspective which I 
believe conservation badly needs at this point in its development that it is 
a library- and profession -wide concern, and that we have many more 
choices before us than simply how to repair and preserve a valued physical 
object. We also must face the fact that the emerging information revolution 
on how information is disseminated and stored will have a significant 
impact on decision-making in libraries, only a small part of which will 
include actual physical preservation concerns. Librarians are intelligent 
and resourceful people, and the profession is recognizing (perhaps belat- 
edly) that higher managerial skills are needed if we are to accomplish our 
historic mission that of housing and delivering information to our 

The Conservator and The Twenty-First Century 15 


Charles H. Davis (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): One thing I heard you say 
pleased me very much. While I'm not a specialist in preserving and 
conserving things, I am a specialist in automation and think it's a point 
worth making that we have to conserve things regardless of the medium. I 
am thinking about magnetic tapes, video discs and the rest of it. Guten- 
berg, himself, may be dead but the spirit lives on and we'll also have paper 
for some time I think. 
Robert H. Patterson: That's very true. 

Louis Jordan (University of Notre Dame Libraries, South Bend, Indiana): 
What should be the percentage of the total library budget allotted for 

Patterson: That's a very difficult question. I think it depends on the nature 
of the collection. It depends on where materials come from initially; where 
they are published. A library, for example, that collects heavily in materials 
from non-European countries such as Asia, Latin America, Africa, will 
probably have greater preservation needs than one that collects entirely 
materials from, let's say, North America because of the nature of the way 
materials are printed and bound in those particular places. I wouldn'teven 
dare give a percentage. 

What we all have to realize is that we spend more money on preserva- 
tion than we think we do. I think a lot of librarians don't realize that when 
they pay to have materials bound, they are making a very significant 
preservation commitment. And while a lot of you won't like this, I would 
also suggest that one of the ways I have to support preservation programs 
was to take some money out of the binding budget on the premise that 
preservation and binding are all part of the same bits and pieces that link 
this whole thing together. 

I think the kind of procedures and practices that we draw to govern our 
binding practices have to be reviewed as a preservation activity. While class 
A library binding may be absolutely marvelous for a lot of materials, it is 
abominable for a lot of other materials. And we have to exercise the 
judgment that we have as librarians and bibliographers, and as subject 
specialists, to run our entire binding procedures and specifications 
through the most careful scrutiny to make sure that we are, in fact, giving 
the materials the kinds of treatment that they actually need. Very few 
libraries have done this. There are people here, however, who are taking 
part in the program, who have and can tell you a great deal about how you 
go about developing that kind of program. 

16 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

William DuBois (Northern Illinois University Libraries): How have chal- 
lenge/match programs for funding aided library preservation efforts? 

Patterson: The amount of progress in preservation technology and preser- 
vation development, I believe, in the last few years, can be, in at least part, 
attributed to intelligent use of grant money. I realize that in certain 
political areas, grant money is under the worse kind of attack, but organi- 
zations like NHPRC and the National Endowment for Humanities, just to 
name two that I think are the most important, have been enormously 
helpful in developing some important pilot programs that have had a 
great deal of positive effect and have proven themselves to be very work- 
able, and have helped us learn a lot. Unhappily, the amount of funding 
available for those programs is not as great as it once was. 

Gerald Gibson (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.): The Library of 
Congress is very interested in preservation as their paper materials, too, are 
deteriorating. Nonpaper controls are one method being used for 

Patterson: The directions the Library of Congress seems to be taking in 
preservation at this point are a very helpful sign. Those of you with 
preservation problems in the past know that the preservation staff of the 
Library of Congress has been enormously helpful with any problem. You 
could simply pick up the phone and call them and they try very hard to 
help you. 

D.W. Krummel (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): How much is being done to 
make conservation less expensive? 

Patterson: I think one of the ways that has been tried to address the cost in 
preservation is to develop collaborative and cooperative ventures. The 
whole clearinghouse concept which is rapidly emerging is a very impor- 
tant way of getting information into collection development. 

Robert J. Adelsperger (University of Illinois at Chicago Circle): What 
should be the split between conserving and preserving special and general 
collections? I think we are realizing that special collections and rare books 
librarians can't carry it alone. 

Patterson: I think the only long-term answer to that problem is to educate 
library administrators and the library world generally, that preservation is 
not an elitist kind of concern, and that while people in rare books do have 
an obvious clear vested interest in the process, that it is a problem for the 
entire general collection. If that kind of information can be imparted and 
learned, then it will bring, I think, administrators around. Again, I don't 
want to address specific kinds of things because they will be talked about in 
much more detail later on, but just the fact that some of the major library 

The Conservator and The Twenty-First Century 17 

organizations, such as the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), have 
taken a major concern about preservation means that those people who 
might not ordinarily learn about preservation will have it called to their 
attention now that their major organizations are examining it. This is 
important. It's a very important change. I remember talking to several 
ARL library directors at least ten years ago "Nothing to worry about." 
" Wha t problems? ' ' I don ' t think you could find an ARL director today who 
would say that. They might think it still in their hearts, but there is enough 
pressure from within their own national organization to view preservation 
as a problem. They would have a great deal of difficulty saying that they 
didn't recognize the problem. That's enormous progress. 

James C. Dast (University of Wisconsin at Madison): What is the role of 
library schools in preservation? 

Patterson: I'm so glad you asked that question. I think we have seen in 
library education in the past five years, in particular, a growing interest in 
preservation. The Preservation Education Directory, a publication of the 
American Library Association, began a few years ago with only one or two 
pages; now it is thirty pages listing regular courses, workshops and other 
kinds of programs. I would hope that trend might continue and that the 
library schools would increasingly offer more and more in this area. 
Considering the importance of preservation for libraries, for library 
schools not to offer (if not a complete course) at least some exposure to the 
student of the problem, is not to really prepare students. The whole 
question of trying to create an awareness, again throughout the entire 
profession, means starting at this level. We're not talking about rare book 
librarians, we're talking about people who must have their own awareness 
heightened so that they recognize that there is a problem. Since we can't 
wait for the conservator to appear (he or she isn't going to appear for an 
awfully long time), they, as librarians, are going to have to develop the 
preservation programs. 

Davis: I think we in library schools don't necessarily have to have courses 
labeled "preservation" to teach concepts e.g., courses in library adminis- 
tration and technical services often cover these areas. Because schools don't 
have courses labeled preservation does not mean they don't have offerings. 

Unidentified Speaker: Doesn't the library staff have an obligation to edu- 
cate their staff and users about preservation? There is a lot that we can do to 
educate people about not harming books. 

Patterson: I think that you have already answered your question. Clearly, 
one of the responsibilities of a preservation officer or preservation commit- 
tee is to look at programs to train and educate the library staff about what is 
proper handling and what is not. There are a wide number of very, very 

18 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

fine slide and tape shows, publications, all kinds of things, designed for the 
training of the library staff, whether they are students handling books in 
the stacks or whether they are persons working in processing or binding. 
There are a large number of programs that are now available or are being 
developed in a large number of institutions, which, I am sure, you will hear 
about as we go on in this conference. It is clear that education is one of the 
primary roles of the preservation officer. 


Preservation Specialist 

Office of Management Studies 

Association of Research Libraries 

Expanding Preservation Resources 

The Corps of Practitioners and the 
Core of Knowledge 

Recently a small sampling of libraries was asked to comment on a pro- 
posal for a preservation information service, which would aggressively 
disseminate publications and new information about procedures and tech- 
niques. One library's response was brief and blunt: "What we need is a 
corps of practitioners, not more articles!" Another suggested that the 
availability of information about preservation was no longer the issue, 
arguing that in fact "sometimes I think we have so much information that 
we are paralyzed from effective action." 

Since a significant proportion of my professional energies has been 
devoted to the dissemination of "more articles" on the topic of preserva- 
tion, these cold assertions took me rather by surprise. Defensively, I men- 
tally rehearsed all the arguments supporting the need for accurate, current 
information to support decision-making and shape procedures in day-to- 
day preservation program operation; reviewed the ample evidence that 
staff in numerous libraries know nothing have never read a single 
article about preservation; and reaffirmed my conviction that progress 
depends on making preservation information as widespread within the 
profession as information about cataloging or reference. 

But as I thought more about it, I came to the conclusion that the critics 
offered a valuable insight: true though it is that preservation information 
is still scarce, scattered, primitive, and often inaccurate, the creation of a 
comprehensive data base on the topic cannot by itself solve the preserva- 
tion problems of the nation's libraries and archives. Information is valu- 
able only when put to use. Information is a tool, but people do the work. 
Though the distinction may appear academic, to focus on developing 
informed people, instead of focusing on information, is an important step 


20 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

in improving our collective ability to respond to urgent preservation 

With that distinction in mind, I will describe several current projects 
and programs which aim to develop informed people, and speculate about 
some future possibilities. 

ARL/OMS Preservation Project 

To begin with the one I know best, the Preservation Planning Project 
of the Association of Research Libraries' Office of Management Studies 
(ARL/OMS), with which I have been involved since July 1980, is a one- 
time project aimed at putting "self-help" tools into the hands of people 
responsible for developing preservation programs. This project is a direct 
outgrowth of the Collection Analysis Project CAP which the Office of 
Management Studies developed several years ago. CAP studies enable a 
library to examine a wide range of factors affecting the nature, growth and 
use of its collections. One of those factors is preservation, and a number of 
libraries were able to take their first serious look at preservation needs and 
possibilities in the course of conducting a collection analysis self-study. 
While the importance of viewing preservation in the context of overall 
collection development and management cannot be overemphasized, it 
was apparent that the topic is broad and complex enough to merit the more 
extensive attention possible through a self-study focused exclusively on 
preservation. Thus the current project was generously supported by the 
National Endowment for the Humanities, to design, test and make widely 
available a preservation self-study process. 

The project has both short- and long-term products. Early in the grant 
period, the OMS conducted a SPEC survey on preservation. (SPEC is the 
Systems & Procedures Exchange Clearinghouse, a service of OMS whereby 
ARL member libraries share in-house documents and report on local 
activities. SPEC surveys are a speedy way to pool information on specific 
topics of current interest.) While the ultimate purpose of this particular 
survey was to gather data for use in designing the preservation self-study, 
there were three immediate byproducts, the SPEC Kit/Flyer packages on 
Planning for Preservation, Preparing for Emergencies and Disasters, and 
Basic Preservation Procedures. 1 Distributed to ARL members, several 
hundred regular subscribers, and dozens of institutions here and abroad 
who have ordered individual copies, the SPEC kits offered a glimpse of 
preservation administration as it is actually being practiced in major 
libraries today, with policy statements and descriptions of procedures 
which can serve as models for adapting to many other library situations. 

The kits were an early bonus, a way to give people something to work 
with right away while we were developing more extensive and systematic 

Expanding Preservation Resources 21 

tools. That work is now in its final phase, and will result in two comple- 
mentary products. The first is an assisted self-study manual, the Preserva- 
tion Planning Program, 2 which sounds a bit intimidating but is simply a 
set of instructions for conducting a systematic examination of a library's 
preservation needs and developing a plan for responding to them. The 
second is a compilation of technical information, drawn from a wide 
variety of sources, which serves both to educate those staff members con- 
ducting the self-study and to guide subsequent implementation of the 

How the Self-Study Works 

The self-study process, which has been tested in three different library 
settings during the past year, involves a team of four to seven library staff 
members in a careful investigation of the library's preservation situation. 
The study team is assisted by a consultant, who provides orientation to the 
subject of preservation and to the techniques of the study itself, makes 
periodic visits to work with the team and its task forces, is available 
throughout the study for advice about problems which may arise, and 
provides an outsider's perspective on the findings and plans. 

The process begins with a review of the library itself the history and 
nature of its collections and users as these affect the condition of its 
materials and its responsibility for maintaining them. During this first 
phase the study team also informs itself about basic preservation issues, 
through reading and exploring in a preliminary way the history of preser- 
vation activities within the local library and in the profession. Major 
external factors likely to affect plans for future development building 
plans, cooperative relationships, and steadily mounting financial 
pressures are also identified. With this preparation, the study team pre- 
pares a background paper, setting forth the scope and priorities for the 
second phase of the self-study. 

Task forces are then appointed, chaired by members of the study team 
but bringing into the study process as many as twenty-five additional staff 
members for an intensive information-gathering effort. Five major areas 
are examined. The first is the physical environment affecting materials in 
the collections, which is studied by assembling data on the nature of 
facilities and spaces throughout the library and by monitoring tempera- 
ture, humidity and light levels in representative spaces. This task force 
prepares a report on present conditions with recommendations for ongo- 
ing monitoring to identify seasonal problems and patterns, and for various 
short-term and long-range measures for upgrading the environment. 

The second task force studies the physical condition of the collections 
themselves. This is a major topic addressed through development of an 

22 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

inventory of the physical types of materials held throughout the system, 
and by sampling the condition of representative items from the major 
categories identified in the inventory. This process lays the foundation for 
the body of statistical and evaluative data which must be accumulated over 
a more extended period in order to shape preservation program priorities 
and justify the reallocation of funds that will be essential to support 
expanded preservation programs. 

The third area is that of the library's preparedness for accidents and 
disasters affecting the collections. This task force looks at facilities, geog- 
raphy, climate, and the history of previous disasters in order to assess the 
library's current vulnerability; identifies areas in which preventative mea- 
sures ought to be taken; and prepares a preliminary "disaster plan" for 
coping with emergencies which might threaten the collections. 

The fourth area of study, sometimes handled by a task force and 
sometimes by the study team itself, is that of the organizational factors and 
current procedures which affect the physical condition of materials. This 
involves identifying preservation activities, often disguised under other 
names, which are already going on throughout the library processing, 
binding, handling, repair, replacement; codifying whatever policies may 
exist which influence those activities; beginning the arduous task of identi- 
fying the current level of preservation-related expenditures. Analysis of 
this data leads to recommendations for developing comprehensive poli- 
cies, improving procedures, realigning operations in order to coordinate 
decision-making, and making preservation a conscious, integral function 
within the library's ongoing operations. 

The fifth area I like to think of as identifying opportunities rather 
than needs, and serves as a good antidote to the often depressing findings of 
the other task forces. It is an analysis of the resources which might be 
employed in an expanded preservation program, resources which are 
available in-house, on the campus, in the community, in the region, and 
"out there." The task force develops an inventory of people, products, 
services, and literature which might be useful in staff training and patron 
education programs, decision-making about policies, treatment proce- 
dures, and supply budget allocations. It assembles the beginnings of a 
resource file, and develops recommendations for maintaining, updating 
and making use of these resources in a library-wide preservation program. 

In the final phase, the study team takes the work of the task forces and 
puts it all together, beginning with a description of the current situation 
which identifies major problem areas, causes, and potential solutions. It 
then develops a phased plan for responding to preservation needs, a 
step-by-step process whereby the library can move toward the creation of a 
comprehensive presevation program within a three- to five-year period. 
Although the self-study encourages some dreaming about an ideal pro- 

Expanding Preservation Resources 23 

gram, in order to establish long-term goals and bring home the magnitude 
of the preservation responsibility, the emphasis is on realism: what can be 
done this year, with existing resources, to improve what we are now doing 
to materials in our care, and what can be done to increase the resources 
available in the next few years in order to bring our ability to care for our 
materials into appropriate balance with needs? The plan, with all its 
supporting documentation, is then presented to the library administration 
as the final report of the self-study. 

Is It Worth It? 

What are the results of such a process? Is it worth all the effort? The 
effort is very substantial. In the three pilot test libraries, which were asked 
to keep careful records throughout the study, total hours averaged more 
than a year of cumulative staff time during the four- to seven-month 
process. Even with the streamlining that has resulted from the pilot test 
experience, the commitment of staff time will be a major one for any 
library undertaking the complete study. Is it worth it? Is it necessary? 
Wouldn't it be easier to assign one person to the planning job? Couldn't he 
or she develop a plan for preservation if given a whole year to do it, without 
disrupting the working lives of two dozen people and the f unctions of the 
two dozen units which must do without them while they're off on "that 
damned preservation study?" 

Only libraries which have gone through the process can give you a 
final answer their final answer to such questions. My own response 
harks back to the question of information v. informed people. The preser- 
vation study is based on a fundamental assumption that a library can 
change its way of operating in this case to improve its care for materials 
in its collections only when the people who carry out those operations 
change their attitudes, broaden their understanding, and expand their 
knowledge and skills. A formal self-study helps this happen. Involving a 
broad cross section of the staff in the study not only feeds into it a wealth of 
experience and knowledge of local library operations that no single indi- 
vidual could possess, but also serves to create within the library a pool of 
staff members who have been exposed to preservation issues, who have 
become aware of local preservation needs and resources, who can imme- 
diately take back into their daily work a new preservation awareness. 

Preservation is not solely the domain of a few specialists, but a job for 
all of us. A "preserving attitude" on the part of every staff member is 
essential if the institution as a whole is to come to terms with the awful 
pressure of deterioration threatening the collections we have spent so 
much time and money to acquire, organize, and service. In the absence of 
this attitude, damaging practices will continue. But send a dozen or twenty 

24 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

or thirty people back to the front lines after an intensive period of learning 
about the threats to their collections and I guarantee you the library will 
never be quite the same again. Even if the institution can't afford to 
implement all the recommendations, even if the administration loses its 
nerve and puts the study report on a back shelf to deteriorate along with the 
rest of the collections, even if the plan itself was so poorly put together that 
it deserves to disappear without a trace even then, the materials in the 
collections will have a better chance for survival. An informed staff is 
worth infinitely more than all the information compiled in a report, or 
neatly filed in a cabinet marked "preservation." The Preservation Plan- 
ning Program can be an effective step in developing that informed staff. 

Society of American Archivists' (SAA) 
Basic Archival Conservation Program 

Another approach is currently underway in the archival field. Also 
funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Basic Archi- 
val Conservation Program of the Society of American Archivists is con- 
ducting a series of workshops on conservation theory and practice which 
will reach, over a two-year period, some 350 staff members in archival 
institutions throughout the country. Workshop materials will eventually 
be combined into a manual of practice and procedure for use in further 
staff training and improvement of conservation -related activities. 

Coupled with this grassroots educational effort is a consultant pro- 
gram which provides on-site evaluation of conditions and offers recom- 
mendations for basic improvements. This subsidized service will be 
available to fifty or sixty archives during the grant period, and is particu- 
larly useful for small institutions lacking the staff to undertake an exten- 
sive self-study. 

Regional Programs 

Regional programs such as the Northeast Document Conservation 
Center, the Western Conservation Congress, and the Illinois Cooperative 
Conservation Project about which Carolyn Morrow will be speaking 
also perform important educational functions, not only providing infor- 
mation in response to specific problems but also advising on the 
interpretation and application of that information, offering workshops or 
serving as a meeting ground on which staff from many institutions can 
gather to share and learn from each other. Through these contacts, and 
through participation in professional associations such as the American 
Library Association, the Society of American Archivists, and the American 
Institute for Conservation, librarians and archivists with preservation 

Expanding Preservation Resources 25 

responsibilities are building personal networks, creating the invisible 
college through which we all continue our professional development after 
we leave school. It's a ragged, patchwork affair yet, with some groups and 
areas of the country doing rather well while others must go long distances 
for information and support. But the outlines have been sketched and the 
patterns good, effective patterns of communication and accumulating 
knowledge are becoming discernible. 

Academic Avenues 

We are playing a catch-up game, most of us, for our formal profession- 
al education took place before the preservation threat was fully recognized, 
before the development of practical mechanisms for applying the emerg- 
ing body of theory about causes and cures. Our teachers could not teach us 
much about preservation because there wasn't much to teach. The new 
generation is more fortunate. Most library schools now include preserva- 
tion in the master's curriculum, if not as a separate course, at least in 
connection with the study of collection management or processing. Stu- 
dents emerging from the good schools are now familiar with the issues, the 
problems, the terminoloy, and will thus bring that all-important preserva- 
tion awareness into their new positions. The growth of such basic educa- 
tional opportunities is clearly reflected in the Preservation Education 
Directory 3 produced by ALA's Preservation of Library Materials Section, 
which has grown in five years from a one-page flyer to a 33-page booklet. 

But for those wishing to devote careers to the preservation of library 
materials, the preparatory path has been a rather rocky one, since there 
have been no academic programs or formal credentials. Some 
conservators those skilled craftsmen/scientists who treat deteriorated 
materials in the workshop or laboratory learned their craft through long 
apprenticeships, the quality of their preparation therefore depending 
heavily on the knowledge and skills of their masters, some excellent but 
some, inevitably, not so good. Others came into library conservation 
through a side door, via graduate-level museum conservation training 
programs. The first of these, at New York University's Institute of Fine 
Arts, was established in 1960. It has since been joined by three others in 
North America: at the State University College at Oneonta, in conjunction 
with the New York State Historical Society, known as the Cooperstown 
Program (begun in 1970); at the University of Delaware in conjunction 
with the Win terthur Museum (begun in 1974); and at Queens University in 
Kingston, Ontario (also begun in 1974). Although they all focus on art and 
museum objects, several graduates who have concentrated on paper or 
photographic conservation have migrated to the library world. 

26 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Library preservation administrators librarians responsible for the 
full range of activities including processing, binding, replacement, and 
brittle books programs for whole collections in addition to the laboratory 
treatment performed by conservators have had an even more haphazard 
preparation. Thus far they have been largely self-taught, learning on the 
job and through whatever reading and workshop experience they could 
find, picking each other's brains at meetings and through informal profes- 
sional contacts. Successful as such measures have been in bringing us to the 
present stage of development, they are by no means adequate to produce 
the "corps of practitioners" needed to direct programs in libraries through- 
out the country. 

The Columbia Program 

And so it is good news indeed that two graduate programs, one for 
library conservators and one for preservation administrators, have now 
begun. With generous start-up funding, chiefly from the National Endow- 
ment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and with 
assistance from the Carnegie Corporation, the Morgan Guaranty Trust 
Company, and the H.W. Wilson Foundation, the programs are offered by 
the School of Library Service at Columbia University in cooperation with 
the New York University (NYU) museum conservation training program. 
The conservator program, which began with four full-time students in 
September 1981 and will expand to a maximum of six, is a three-year 
course, including two years of course work and intensive laboratory prac- 
tice followed by a year of supervised internship in a recognized conserva- 
tion laboratory a melding of the book-learning and apprenticeship 
approaches developed successfully by the museum training programs. On 
successful completion of the course of study, students will receive a mas- 
ter's degree from the library school, and a certificate in library conservation 
issued jointly by Columbia and the NYU Conservation Center, and will be 
prepared for beginning positions as professional conservators. 

The preservation administration program may be done in two ways, 
as a one-year advanced certificate by practicing librarians, or as a two-year 
combined program leading to the library degree and an advanced certifi- 
cate. The curriculum is packed with the theory and practice of preserva- 
tion, in addition to study of general librarianship, the history of books and 
printing, the nature and care of materials, and library administration, and 
it includes a laboratory component which provides in-depth exposure to 
the materials and techniques of physical treatment. The administrator 
students will not become mini-conservators; they will not receive the heavy 
doses of conservation science, paper chemistry, and lengthy supervised 
bench practice necessary for those who provide extensive sophisticated 

Expanding Preservation Resources 27 

treatment for a wide range of materials. But they will learn to establish and 
train staff for routine binding and mending operations, to analyze and 
improve procedures for handling and storage, to coordinate decision- 
making and large-scale systems for the care, repair or replacement of all 
materials in a library's collections. The first four administrator students 
completed the certificate program in May 1982. 

A Core for the Corps 

The foregoing suggests that we have some cause for confidence: the 
"corps of practitioners" will expand to meet the expanding personnel 
requirements in the field of preservation. But just what is it that these 
people are going to practice? Have we a body of theory and practice 
adequate to meet the complex demands of salvaging massive quantities of 
rotting materials? To put it bluntly, the core of preservation knowledge is 
still very small and primitive, and our research and development needs are 
correspondingly large and sophisticated. Given the distinction between 
information and informed people, and the mechanisms by which the 
former is put to use by the latter, let me now identify those areas which 
seem to me most sorely in need of development, and the approaches to each 
that appear most promising at this time. 

As a framework for these projections, I'd like to share with you a study 
model developed for the Preservation Planning Program. Its graphic 
representation appears in figure 1. Though its aesthetic proportions may 
leave something to be desired, the grouping of causal factors, potential 
control strategies, and the interrelationships among them all does prove 
useful in analyzing the present situation and trying to figure out what to do 
about it. For a review of the basic facts, see figure 1. 

Causal Factors 

There are three interdependent sets of causal factors contributing to 
the preservation problem. The first of these arise from characteristics of the 
materials themselves, the physical and chemical natures of which are, as a 
general rule, inherently unstable. The rate of natural deterioration varies 
widely, and each type of material has its own life cycle, its own pattern of 
responding to and reacting with its environment over time, which is 
established by the basic molecular character of its components and by the 
mechanics of its physical structure. 

Directly related to the internal characteristics affecting the life of 
materials are the external factors which constitute the basic physical envi- 
ronment. The temperature, humidity, light, and chemical components of 
the atmosphere surrounding any object, and the structures which contain 








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Expanding Preservation Resources 29 

or support it, all influence both the rate and type of deterioration of that 
object. Changes in temperature and light two different forms of energy 
control the speed at which chemical reactions take place; the chemical 
nature of the materials themselves and the substances surrounding them 
define the type of reaction. 

The third set of causal factors, also external to the object, is found in 
the nature of handling and use binding or packaging techniques, shelv- 
ing procedures, processing and circulation practices, and the way staff and 
patrons handle materials. Some effects are chemical, but most effects are 
physical, that is, they affect the external structure of an object rather than 
its chemical nature. The susceptibility of materials to this kind of damage 
depends upon both the internal and environmental factors. For example, 
paper embrittled through chemical reaction will shatter at a touch; a tight 
adhesive binding can split when opened under hot, dry conditions; film 
softened and stretched through prolonged exposure to a projection lamp 
may be wound too tightly, splitting as it cools and contracts. 

The interrelationships among all three sets of factors are complex, and 
the knowledge that nothing is immortal can lead to an attitude of hopeless 
helplessness. However, an understanding of the chemical and physical 
causes of deterioration and of the influence which the material and human 
environments have on the natural aging processes can point to methods of 
care which significantly extend the life of library materials. 

Control Strategies 

Like the causes, the strategies for controlling the preservation prob- 
lem fall into three related groups. In response to the physical and chemical 
characterisics of the materials, there are a variety of treatment possibilities 
which will halt or at least retard further deterioration and may undo some 
damage. These include cleaning, minor repair, binding and rebinding, 
deacidification, protective wrapping, and major restoration. In some cases 
of severe deterioration, physical treatment may be inpractical or economi- 
cally unjustifiable although the intellecual content of the material war- 
rants continued access. For such items, several possibilities exist for 
preserving content, through replacement, reproduction in a variety of 
formats and media, or through securing access to duplicates held else- 
where. Decison-making and provision of treatment are individual, item- 
by-item functions. Though guidelines and treatment routines for 
categories of materials may lend efficiency to the operation, the unit costs, 
in both time and materials, are high. The development of mass deacidifica- 
tion procedures, though vital for the stabilization of paper-based records, 
will by no means control all the factors affecting the survival of library 

30 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Unlike physical treatment, the other two sets of preservation strategies 
can have a beneficial effect on large numbers of materials at once. Changes 
in the physical environment can prolong the life of all materials stored and 
used within that space. Such changes might include enhanced temperature 
and humidity control, filtering of air and light sources, cleaning, improve- 
ment of shelf and cabinet arrangements, redesigning book return struc- 
tures, and upgrading materials used for storage folders and boxes. Though 
the total cost for major environmental improvements appears high, the 
unit cost for prolonging the life of each affected item is quite low. Given 
the accelerated rate of deterioration in an uncontrolled environment 
together with the high unit cost of physical treatment, these strategies offer 
cost-effective insurance that many materials will not be totally lost before 
individual attention can be given to them. 

There are, in addition, several methods for limiting the human poten- 
tial for damaging materials, through lobbying for better methods and 
materials in the manufacture of books and other media (especially sup- 
porting use of the paper specifications recently developed by the Commit- 
tee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity 5 ), through staff 
education and training, improvement of binding and processing proce- 
dures, patron awareness programs, and restricing access to some materials. 

Development Needs 

If this analysis is reasonably accurate, it follows that we've got at least 
two dozen complementary activities to develop and promote. I'll say no 
more about most of them, but three taken together, may help us cope with 
the most perplexing aspect of the preservation problem: the sheer magni- 
tude of the numbers of deteriorated materials. 

Environmental control is perhaps the most urgent. Technically, we 
are well on the way to understanding what the environment ought to be, 
and how to keep it that way, in order to insure maximum survival for 
various types of materials. National standards exist for the proper storage 
of many photographic and magnetic media, and the American National 
Standards Institute has just established a Z-39 subcommittee to develop 
such a standard for paper-based records. Climate control systems 
knowingly referred to by some as "HVAC" for "heating, ventilating, and 
air conditioning" are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The technol- 
ogy already exists to create a life-sustaining mini-environment under the 
most adverse conditions, at the bottom of the sea or in outer space, so it 
must be technically feasible to control the many mini-environments in 
which library materials are housed. The technology is there, but two more 
ingredients are needed if it is to be used: (1) effective operational models and 
systems for applying the technology to the variable conditions that exist in 

Expanding Preservation Resources 31 

a thousand storage spaces, and (2) money. Two examples will illustrate the 
research and development activities that I believe may bring the ingre- 
dients together. 

First, adequate control of complex library environments must be 
based on data derived from regular monitoring of several factors in many 
locations. During the pilot testing of the Preservation Planning Program 
at the University of Washington in 1981, the environmental task force took 
some preliminary steps toward accumulating and manipulating such 
information by processing its findings through a simple data base manage- 
ment system on a microcomputer. As microcomputers become ever 
smaller, smarter, and cheaper, it ought to be possible to expand this 
approach, creating library -oriented environmental control software that 
would swiftly identify problem spaces and patterns of conditions, and 
pinpoint the most significant variables in particular areas. Microprocessor 
links between monitoring devices and climate control equipment could 
extend the familiar thermostat principle to regulate a variety of environ- 
ment conditions automatically, on a continuous basis. 

Second, consider the relationship between enviornmental conditions 
and the rates of deterioration for different sorts of materials. We have a 
handy rule of thumb which says that the rate doubles with every 10C 
increase in temperature. But how might we apply this rule to create 
accurate projections of the cost in lost materials over x period of time at one 
temperature level or another? Careful sampling procedures might provide 
a profile of the deterioration rates for various categories of materials in a 
particular collection. Further testing could enable us to quantify the effects 
on those rates of altering this or that environmental factor. Price indexes 
for replacements and treatment cost figures could be combined on the 
financial side of the equation. With such information it ought to be 
possible to develop a formula for comparing the cost of controlling the 
environment with the price of failing to control it. There are many vari- 
ables; I'd hate to have to do it on an abacus, or even this year's pocket 
calculator. But the new high technology office toys seem made for such a 
game, and the rewards of winning could be very great indeed. 

From Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC) to Universal Preservation 

Another area in which I see exciting development possibilities also 
relates to the alluring new information technologies. The capture, com- 
pact storage, and retrieval of massive quantities of sound, graphic images, 
and textual data appears to be moving swiftly out of the realm of science 
fiction. The Cataloging Distribution Service of the Library of Congress, 
working in cooperation with the research arm of Xerox, has equipment 
now in place for transferring the entire stock of 5.5 million pre-MARC 

32 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

printed catalog cards onto two dozen LP-size optical discs. The capture 
device "reads" the image by scanning at very high speed, converting what 
it "sees" into electronic impulses related to precise coordinates on a sliced - 
up grid containing 480 lines-per-inch. (Standards for high-quality micro- 
filming call for a resolution of 1 20 lines-per-inch. Television operates on a 
similar grid of about 120 lines-per-inch, so this new process can record four 
times the detail of the clearest television picture you've seen.) As the image 
is "digitized," the term for this electronic encoding, it is first recorded on a 
conventional magnetic disc, the "slices" lined up end-to-end. Access 
points or indexing tags the LC card number, for example are added to 
the string of slices for each image, and this composite data is then "writ- 
ten," or etched, by laser onto a thin film of metal sandwiched between two 
layers of glass. 

Copies of this master optical disc can then be "read" by converting the 
codes back into an image viewed on a screen or printed as a high-quality 
facsimile reproduction. This process can even record and reproduce color, 
in a manner analagous to the three-color separation technique used in 
conventional photography. There are implications for interlibrary loan, 
for remote access in multiple locations, and for publishing. There are also 
remarkable preservation possibilities. The technology is there for a com- 
pletely new approach to salvaging the intellectual content of deteriorated 
material, until now accomplished chiefly through microfilming. But tech- 
nology is not enough; again, it must be employed within a well-designed 
system, and supported by apparently enormous sums of money. How to 
bring these pieces together? 

To answer this question we must first look at the third topic that I 
believe to be crucial for die development of effective large-scale preserva- 
tion programs the bibliographic structure. If you've ever dealt with 
preservation filming or brittle books replacement programs you know 
how important bibliographic control is, and how painfully inadequate 
our present systems are for such work. Intelligent decision-making about 
preservation treatment or replacement alternatives depends upon speedy, 
comprehensive access to current data about the existence and condition of 
other copies or related editions. Today's data base is far from comprehen- 
sive; it is not current; and access to its scattered components, manual and 
automated, is slow and cumbersome. Although computer-based catalogs 
lend plausibility to the librarian's dream of Universal Bibliographic Con- 
trol, and optical disc storage technology stimulates an even shinier vision 
of Universal Textual Preservation, years of hard, painstaking work are 
necessary if we are to reach such goals. It does no good to store tons of 
information in a machine unless you can get it out again when you need it. 
Intricate layers of file structures, indexes, registers, and links must be 
carefully put together if the terminal screen is to do its magic when I push 

Expanding Preservation Resources 33 

the buttons. These systems are already being created. If they are to support 
collection management and preservation activities in addition to acquisi- 
tions, cataloging, and reference services, the designers need to know what 
kinds of special information each record might need to contain, and how it 
will be manipulated in carrying out those activities. 

Recently, the Research Libraries Group (RLG) Preservation Commit- 
tee tried to spell out exactly these design requirements in recommending 
enhancements to the RLIN (Research Libraries Information Network) 
data base. The final document deals exclusively with bibliographic sup- 
port for preservation microfilming activities, and will certainly be of 
tremendous value as RLG, LC, OCLC, and the rest work more and more 
closely in building a national information network. But the committee 
had to abandon its original plan which was to have encompassed condi- 
tion statements and preservation treatment reports as well as microform 
information. The reason for this, I believe, is that we have not yet figured 
out how to systematize the processes of evaluating condition and deciding 
on appropriate treatment. We must do that if we are to develop affordable 
programs for either mass treatment or electronic storage. 

We must develop uniform condition descriptors, a common terminol- 
ogy for categories of treatment, and shared sets of criteria for screening 
materials and sending them down this or that path to restoration, format 
conversion or oblivion. To avoid wasteful duplication of effort on some 
things while others vanish for lack of attention, we must divide up the 
universe and assign primary responsibility for preserving chunks of it to 
many different libraries. RLG is struggling toward this; the Association of 
Research Libraries is beginning to consider it; some informal agreements 
exist within regional systems and arise from de facto recognition that x 
collection is simply the best that there is on the topic. But it's all pretty 
primitive, and we run the risk of being lulled into complacency by scat- 
tered reports that this group or that is working on the problem. Much 
fundamental thinking remains to be done, followed by much cooperative 
design, testing and redesign, in order to develop a practical system for 
employing both automated bibliographic control and compact text stor- 
age technologies in the service of preservation. 

And so the final challenge is that of coordinating our efforts, sharing 
developments fully and swiftly so that we may build on each other's work, 
keeping always in mind the ultimate goal even as our attention is devoted 
to perfecting one small component. To that end we must nourish and 
invigorate our communications networks, so that time spent in one place 
to assemble the information needed for a particular preservation activity 
need not be duplicated in another. The widening gap between institutions 

34 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

with established preservation programs and those with none must be 
closed, for all must participate in making the fundamental decisions that 
will shape the nation's preservation programs. 

Having come full circle, let me close by reiterating the importance of 
collecting and aggressively disseminating information about preservation 
at all levels of the profession. As individuals we have an obligation to share 
our own theoretical insights and practical discoveries with our colleagues 
through speaking, writing, and the informal contact that takes place 
during professional meetings, workshops, and conferences such as this. 
Our institutions must be active in reporting local preservation efforts, and 
quick to take advantage of information developed by others. Our systems 
and networks and consortia must work together to keep us well-informed, 
so that the corps of practitioners and the core of knowledge may grow 


1. Association of Research Libraries. Office of Management Studies. Planning for 
Preservation (SPEC Kit #66). Washington, D.C.: ARL, July/Aug. 1980; Prepar- 
ing for Emergencies b Disasters (SPEC Kit #69). Washington, D.C.: ARL, Nov./Dec. 1980; 

and Basic Preservation Procedures (SPEC Kit #70). Washington, D.C.: ARL, 

Jan. 1981. 

2. Darling, Pamela W., and Webster, Duane E. Preservation Planning Program: An 
Assisted Self-Study Manual for Libraries. Washington, D.C.: ARL, 1982; and Darling, 
Pamela W. comp. Preservation Planning Program: Resource Notebook. Washington, D.C.: 
Association of Research Libraries, 1982. 

3. American Library Association. Resources and Technical Services Division. Preserva- 
tion Education Directory: Educational Opportunities in the Preservation of Library Mate- 
rials, 1981, edited by Susan G. Swartzburg and Susan B. White. Chicago: ALA, 1981. 

4. Darling, and Webster, Preservation Planning Program, pp. 16-20. 

5. Council on Library Resources. The Committee on Production Guidelines for Book 
Longevity. "Interim Report on Book Paper." Washington, D.C.: CLR, 1981. See also "Mak- 
ing Books Last." Publishers Weekly 219(29 May 1981):19-22. 


Unidentified Speaker: What kind of statistics are available about how 
many items are being preserved? 

Pamela Darling: There is nothing systematic available yet. There are a 
number of reasons for that, one of them being that we do not yet have that 
shared set of descriptions of treatments or shared understandings of what 
constitutes preservation. There is a lot of preservation going on in a lot of 
libraries that don't know they have a preservation program. The single 

Expanding Preservation Resources 35 

thing that you can get statistics on for practically everyone is commercial 
binding, because we've been set up for years to count that, but most other 
things are not reported separately. In fact, in most places, there is not a 
separate count even kept for replacement when it is done for preservation 
purposes. It is simply buried in the acquisitions statistics somewhere. 

David Farrell (Indiana University, Bloomington): What is being done 
about the special problems connected with the preservation of East Asian 

Darling: I probably can't say very much because I don't know a great deal 
about it. I think that there are problems with format and there are prob- 
lems, obviously, with bibliographic control since most of the materials are 
not included in the regular bibliographic systems at present. 

I am not aware of any unique problems about East Asian materials but 
that doesn't mean there aren't some. If you 're talking the Orient, that is one 
thing; if you're talking about Southeast Asian, that's another. There are 
certain areas of the world where we all know that the quality of the paper is 
just really "the pits." There is very little that can be done to keep those 
things going more than ten to fifteen years, so that there are probably large 
categories of publications from certain areas, or at least certain types of 
publications from those areas, which, like newspapers, we will have to 
convert to some other form before we even add them to the collection 
because they won't last. 

Roberta L. Hudson (R.B, Hayes Preservation Center, Fremont, Ohio): Is 
there a way to adapt the preservation and planning program self-study 
process to a small staff? 

Darling: It is clearly designed for the larger institutions. I believe it would 
be possible, however, to take the principles that are involved, and the 
general procedures, and to cut the thing back in some of its detail. I would 
have to think about it to tell you exactly how it would be done, but I do 
think that the basic process, the elements of things that are to be examined 
and the process for analyzing the information you have and working 
toward a phased plan, are quite applicable to any kind of institution. 

Gerald Gibson (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.): I don't believe 
that there is presently a screen capable of showing the resolutions required 
for reading of the optical disc material. 

Darling: The screen will only show, I think, a quarter of the resolution that 
is actually stored in the machine. There simply are not available now the 
cathode ray tubes, or whatever they are, that have that kind of refinement. 
The significance about the resolution capability from our point of view is 
not really so much what we see on the screen but the fact that the informa- 
tion is stored to that level of detail and it's stored in electronic and digitized 

36 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

form so that, even though it begins to degrade, it can be restored perfectly, 
because all the machine knows is "on" or "off" in this particular little tiny, 
teeny spot on this page. Is or is there not a mark? And soil's just on-off; it's 
a blip or it isn't, and that blip can degrade considerably before it disappears 
altogether so that you can go back and reconstruct the record in a way that 
is completely different from the possibilities that we've had, for example, 
when a microform begins to fade or lose its image. 

Gibson: You have to produce a hard copy to read it. At present, it doesn't 
have the resolution that people will accept. 

Darling: I think again a lot of it depends on the type of material that you're 
talking about. There's a lot of basic textual data that is perfectly acceptable 
at the lower levels, but on the other hand there are certain kinds of things 
where you absolutely must have that additional thing, and so we will have 
to be clever and smart about deciding which are the areas to concentrate on 
first. I don't know what the likelihood is of the screening capability 
coming up to the ability of the disc storage in ten years or so. I suppose they 
can develop that, but, in the meantime, we can begin with something like 
LC cards which are an obvious and excellent application for the current 
abilities of the machine. There are a lot of exciting possibilities, but we 
need to be careful in not getting so carried away by some dazzling dream of 
preserving everything that we lose sight of the immediate requirements of 
our work. 


Conservation Librarian 
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale 

National Preservation Planning 

and Regional Cooperative 

Conservation Efforts 

This morning, I would like to present a chronology of national preserva- 
tion planning, describe some notable developments in the area of regional 
cooperative conservation efforts, and suggest the types of activities that are 
feasible on a cooperative basis. 

In 1964, Gordon Williams conducted a study for the Association of 
Research Libraries ( ARL) to plan for a national program for the preserva- 
tion of research library materials. The Williams report, endorsed in princi- 
ple by ARL in 1965, recommended that libraries establish a central agency 
to "insure the physical preservation of at least one example of every 
deteriorating book and make photocopies of the preserved originals readi- 
ly available to all libraries." 1 The proposal went over like a lead balloon. It 
was still the boom years of the sixties, money was easy, and libraries were 
intent on building collections. So what if a few dusty volumes lay crum- 
bling? Furthermore, the logistics of establishing a central agency were 
overwhelming. The 1964 report was definitely ahead of its time. 

In 1972, the Association of Research Libraries came out with a second 
report, written by Warren Haas, and entitled Preparation of Detailed 
Specifications for a National System for Preservation of Library Materials. 
It had been eight years since the 1964 ARL report. Those intervening years 
had seen the culmination of research efforts at the Barrow Research Labor- 
atory in Richmond, Virginia, with the publication of a series of studies 
investigating the permanence and durability of the book. This concrete 
evidence, printed in black and white, had helped to heighten an awareness 
of the problem of paper deterioration. After all, statements such as "97 per 
cent of the book papers produced during the first half of the twentieth 
century have a life expectancy of fifty years or less" could not help but turn 


38 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

a few heads. Also between the two ARL reports, in 1969, the Graduate 
Library School of the University of Chicago held their thirty-fourth 
annual conference on the topic of "deterioration and preservation of 
library materials." 3 It was clear from the nature of the papers presented, 
that the profession of librarianship was determined to be optimistic. It was 
not until much later that librarianship faced the frightening realization 
that they had perhaps waited too long to act. 

The catastrophic floods in Florence, Italy, in November 1966 also 
occurred between the two ARL reports. The ensuing destruction and 
damage focused international attention on the preservation of cultural 
materials. Conservators from all over the world rushed to Florence to aid in 
recovery and reclamation efforts and the experience of working together to 
solve conservation problems gave the field its first taste of the powers of 
collective action. 

So by 1972, it seemed the time was ripe for more planning by ARL. In 
its second report, ARL dropped the idea of a "central agency" and prepared 
instead "Suggestions for Action" including the topics of Research, Educa- 
tion and Training, Preservation and Conservation Efforts in Individual 
Libraries, and Collective Action. The gist of the report was that preserva- 
tion should be viewed as part of the broader goal of access to information. 
Presumably, libraries made a conscious decision to preserve by collecting 
the material in the first place. By allowing materials to deteriorate beyond 
the point of usability, libraries were limiting access to information. Under 
the topic of Collective Action, the ARL report called for a group of ten to 
fifteen libraries to join together to carry out certain specific preservation 
projects as a model for an eventual national plan. Paramount would be the 
development of a coordinated system of individual preservation collec- 
tions based on well-defined subject areas. The report maintained that "by 
not aspiring to preserve everything, and concentrating instead on discrete 
subject areas, some real progress becomes possible." 4 

ARL had good reason to assume that the timing was right for such 
collective action. The oldest and largest research libraries had begun, in the 
late sixties (with much wringing of hands), to tackle the problem. In 1967, 
the Library of Congress unified preservation and binding activities into a 
single Preservation Office, promising greater emphasis on the application 
of scientific principles and sound administrative methods. 5 In 1970, the 
Newberry Library established a Conservation Laboratory under the direc- 
tion of Paul Banks. Exemplary leadership and an unerring sense for 
pinpointing the important issues made the Newberry program an early 
moving force in the field, though a separate Conservation Department did 
not emerge until 1975. 6 Also in 1970, the New York Public Library pub- 
lished its Memorandum on the Conservation of the Collections and 
launched a Conservation Division. 7 The Memorandum was the first 

National Planning and Regional Efforts 39 

attempt to formally to assess conservation needs and determine priorities. 
Yale followed suit in 1971 with a Preservation Office. 8 Columbia was 
laying the groundwork for preservation reorganization as a result of a 
study completed in 1970 by the management consulting firm of Booz, 
Allen, and Hamilton. Its Preservation Department formally made the 
organization chart in 1974. 9 

The second ARL report received serious attention because libraries 
were beginning to act. They were beginning to act because they were no 
longer able to ignore the awesome prospect of millions of simultaneously 
deteriorating documents. However, the ARL report also wisely pointed 
out that success would ultimately hinge on "finding a permanent way for 
research libraries to take effective collective action," and that in the "final 
analysis, the research libraries of the country lack a capacity for collective 
action that is suitable to the dimension of the job to be done." 10 

In 1973, a significant vehicle for national preservation planning was 
established. With broad representation from the conservation field, the 
National Conservatory Advisory Council (NCAC) emerged to provide a 
"forum for cooperation and planning among institutions and programs 
concerned with the conservation of cultural property in museums, historic 
properties, libraries, archives, and related collections." An original man- 
date of NCAC was to consider the advisability of creating a national 
institute for conservation. In its role as an advisory body, NCAC has sought 
to identify national needs in areas such as training, research, and stan- 
dards. By issuing and distributing reports, NCAC has expanded an aware- 
ness and understanding of conservation problems. 

Early in 1974, the New York Public Library and the libraries of Yale, 
Columbia, and Harvard joined forces to form Research Libraries Group, 
Inc. (RLG) a separate corporation owned and operated by its members. 
RLG is dedicated to solving the "double problem of rising costs and 
dwindling funds for the operation of research libraries by coordinating 
activities and pooling resources." The significance of RLG is that it 
represents an integration of preservation with dissemination and access 
in part fulfilling the recommendations of ARL's second report. 

By 1976, the National Conservation Advisory Council had issued their 
first major report, Conservation of Cultural Property in the United States. 
The report outlined national needs in conservation and made recommen- 
dations for national conservation planning. Those recommendations 
included a call for a nationwide cooperative effort to preserve our national 
artistic and historic heritage; establishment of a permanent national advi- 
sory council, a national institute for conservation, and a network of 
regional conservation centers; increased training for conservators and 
education for curators and administrators; increased scientific support; 
and the development of standards. The report projected that a national 

40 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

institute could fulfill much of the national need by providing information, 
training, education, and coordinating research and the development of 

Optimism about the possibility of cooperation in the specif ic arena of 
library and archives conservation reached a peak in December 1976 with 
the National Preservation Planning Conference held at the Library of 
Congress. For two days, forty-one invited participants and nineteen LC 
staff members struggled with the "what," "who," and "how" of preserva- 
tion. Frazer Poole, chairman of the conference, summed up their major 
objective when he said, "After years of worry and talk, we must establish a 
plan of action." 1 

Much of what went on before 1976 in the area of national preservation 
planning stressed that since libraries do not have the resources to preserve 
everything, they must first decide what needs to be preserved. This was 
where collection development was supposed to meet preservation and 
decide what would have the chance to survive for the users of the future. By 
1976, a decade of experience in national planning for preservation had 
shown that libraries were bogged down pondering the "what." Warren 
Haas, author of the 1972 report (where he urged libraries to determine 
discrete subject areas worthy of preservation) found himself saying in 1976 
at LC, "don't worry about selection and priorities,..." they will "take care 
of themselves once we have developed a national capacity that provides a 
set of preservation options." He called for a small steering committee to 
steer us "towards action, not planning." 12 Following the Planning Confer- 
ence, in July 1977 the Library of Congress formally named a National 
Preservation Program Officer and began to plan for those services that LC 
could provide in the way of national direction to aid a nationwide preser- 
vation effort. 

No small amount of change and reorganization at the Library of 
Congress (not to mention moving) has stymied the National Preservation 
Program these last several years. However, the new chief of the Preserva- 
tion Office and National Preservation Officer, Peter Sparks, plans to spend 
the next six months exploring the future direction and emphasis of the 
program. Assistant Chief Lawrence Robinson will administer the day-to- 
day mechanisms of the Preservation Office. 

According to Dr. Sparks, a revived National Preservation Program 
will definitely expand its publications program and continue its intern 
and education program. It will also continue the encouragement of coop- 
erative microfilming projects. New components to the program will prob- 
ably include a formal technical consulting service and information center. 

LC's preservation program has always been in a sense, national; 
exploring theoretical and managerial solutions to the Library of Con- 
gress's own preservation problems and developing applied technology has 

National Planning and Regional Efforts 41 

worked for the benefit of all libraries. The National Preservation Program 
will enhance LC's national role and provide national direction to preserva- 
tion by actively communicating the methods and technology explored at 
LC and putting out models that other libraries can work from. 

Following the landmark planning conference in 1976 at LC, 1977 and 
1978 were busy years of workshops, seminars, and more workshops. 
Although not formal cooperation, these sharing and expanding experien- 
ces strengthened the informal people network that kept conservation 
awareness and efforts growing. The publication Conservation Adminis- 
tration News, for example, grew out of a 1978 Columbia University insti- 
tute and has become a significant information sharing tool. 

In 1977, the American Library Association, Resources and Technical 
Services Division (RTSD) formed a Discussion Group on the Preservation 
of Library Materials to "informally discuss common problems concerning 
the preservation of library materials." 13 By the annual meeting in June 
1980, Preservation of Library Materials Section (PLMS) was launched as a 
new section of RTSD. With PLMS, preservation has an official voice in the 
national organization of librarians. 

In 1978, the National Conservation Advisory Council published two 
significant documents having implications for national preservation 
planning. The Report of the Study Committee on Libraries and Archives: 
National Needs in Libraries and Archives Conservation sought to "iden- 
tify and describe the problems existing in the field as a necessary first step to 
seeking solutions to these problems." 14 The committee concluded with 
seven recommendations for national action in the area of preservation and 
called for the "proposed national conservation institute, the national 
preservation program of the Library of Congress, and other bodies" to 
address them without delay. The recommendations included: (1) formula- 
tion of guidelines for environmental and condition surveys, (2) increased 
education and training efforts, (3) increased research, (4) a flow of sound 
and balanced conservation information, (5) establishment of regional or 
cooperative centers, (6) a vigorous program to preserve the intellectual 
content of deteriorated materials through reproduction, and (7) the devel- 
opment of standards. Today, it is gratifying indeed, to note that there is 
progress on every front. 1 

A fifty-five page Discussion Paper on a National Institute for Conser- 
vation of Cultural Property was also issued by NCAC in 1978. Its purpose 
was to further delineate the possible functions of a national institute and 
stimulate interest and input from the conservation profession. Members of 
the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) (the professional organiza- 
tion of conservators) discussed the proposal at annual meetings in 1979, 
1980, and 1981. Concerns expressed by the profession were that a national 
institute would drain already depleted funding sources, that it would 

42 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

require major support from the federal government and yet be unduly 
restricted by government controls, and that it would perhaps unfairly limit 
the access of private conservators to services in favor of institutions. The 
unseemly, but practical question of how funding would be obtained in an 
era of shrinking federal support for the arts was also raised. Conservators 
further expressed concern that the proposed institute would not advance 
the high standards adhered to by the conservation profession and promul- 
gated in AIC's Code of Ethics. 

After nearly eight years of discussion and revision, NCAC published 
in April 1982 a detailed Proposal for a National Institute for Conservation 
(NIC) of Cultural Property and has begun to seek funding. NIC is con- 
ceived as a private organization with some government support, but receiv- 
ing at least one-half of its funding from the private sector. It will serve the 
three major functions of information, education, and scientific support. 
Information Services will include a reference and research library, consult- 
ing, dissemination, and publication. Education Services will encompass 
training of new conservators, seminars to educate the users of conservation 
services, continuing education opportunities for conservators, and com- 
munication of conservation concerns to the public. Scientific Support 
Services will concentrate on developing standards for testing materials, 
devising analytical tests, and conducting basic and applied research 
according to the priorities established by the field. It is not envisioned that 
die NIC will duplicate or supplant already existing facilities or capabili- 
ties, but rather will have a strong coordinating and contracting element. 
NIC will, however, absorb NCAC at its inception. The proposal for NIC 
includes details of staffing, equipment and space needs, and budget and 
calls for a phased implementation of services over a three-year period. 

At the beginning of 1979, the Research Libraries Group amended its 
charter and began to expand its membership. Today, with twenty-five full 
members thoughout the United States, RLG's potential for effective coop- 
erative action in the area of preservation is greatly enhanced. Most recently, 
RLG's Preservation Committee is developing specifications for inputting 
master negative information into RLIN (Research Libraries Information 
Network). Enhancements to RLIN allow members to enter item-specific 
information about the existence of master microforms and service copies 
and the intent to film specific items. RLG's Preservation Committee 
recommends that enhancements to RLIN be compatible with other auto- 
mated systems and that the system be capable of furnishing an RLG list of 
microfilm masters.The implementation of RLG's plan to share preserva- 
tion microfilming information is truly reflective of a national preservation 
program. 16 They have received a grant from NEH (Oct. 1982) to begin 
inputting. The basis of the project, of course, is the New York Public 
Library's present project to input its master negative file. RLG also plans 

National Planning and Regional Efforts 43 

to institute a cooperative filming program and is currently studying possi- 
ble categories of materials to be filmed and operational details such as 
bibliographic control and standards for filming, processing, and storing 
master negatives. Future activities of the committee may include a resource 
manual of standards and designation of preservation responsibility in 
conjunction with primary collecting responsibility. Simply by addressing 
preservation and conservation concerns, however, RLG engages in a very 
basic form of cooperation, peer group pressure, and is undoubtedly 
responsible for increased and upgraded preservation efforts in some of the 
largest research libraries in the country. 

A discussion of the chronology of national preservation planning 
begins to sound rather repetitive. Words such as information, coordina- 
tion, training, support, and standards occur again and again in the plan- 
ning documents of the last decade. Many of us with a sense of urgency may 
wonder: When will there be some action? 

It may be that ten years, or even twenty, is not very long to address such 
a mammoth and complicated task as preservation of the nation's intellec- 
tual resources. We have made real progress in developing conservation 
awareness and sophistication among those in a position to act and we are 
moving toward responsible collective action-albeit slowly. It might be 
useful, even uplifting to ask: What do we have today, in 1981, in national 
preservation action that we did not have even five years ago? 

We have at Columbia University the first academic program to train 
library conservators and preservation administrators. We have a detailed 
proposal for a National Institute for Conservation that includes the con- 
cerns of libraries and archives. We have a National Preservation Program 
at the Library of Congress that promises to be responsive to the needs of the 
nation's libraries. We have in the Research Libraries Group a vehicle for 
cooperative action that will provide a model and a beginning for national 
cooperative activities. We have important work going forward in the area 
of standards (for example, permanent/durable paper, binding, and envi- 
ronmental storage). We have real breakthroughs in the application of 
conservation science to preservation problems (for example, mass deacidi- 
fication, cold storage of photographic materials, and vacuum-drying of 
water -damaged library materials). We have exciting possibilities in new 
technology that can be used to record and preserve information. We have 
an official section of the American Library Association dedicated to 
addressing preservation concerns. And finally, we have a steady increase in 
preservation activities and commitment in the nation's libraries. We have a 
lot of action on the national preservation scene. 

If we accept, as we must, that we will never have enough time, money, 
or staff to preserve everything that has deteriorated or is deteriorating now, 
then we must have coordination of preservation activities on the national 

44 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

level. However, as we all realize, planning, or even action, on the national 
level (however encouraging, or even grandiose as in the case of the pro- 
posed National Institute for Conservation) does not solve today's nitty- 
gritty, down-home problem with deteriorating collections. These are 
problems that for years librarians have affectionately been calling book 
confetti, yellow snow, or (as a librarian in my library is fond of saying) 
peanut brittle. Pamela Darling put it best in introduction to Library 
Journal's 1979 series on preservation when she said, "A 'national' preserva- 
tion program decreed and directed from some central source of power/ 
knowledge/funds is neither practical or desireable at the present time." 17 
Instead, she suggested a nationwide effort emphasizing communication 
and cooperation. She went on to say, "Only after learning how to create 
viable preservation programs on a small scale are we going to build an 
effective large-scale program." 18 As we heard this morning from Pam 
[Darling], both the Association of Research Libraries and the Society of 
American Archivists have put this philosophy into action. Likewise, in the 
last decade, significant regional and local activity has moved us much 
closer to the level of knowledge and sophistication needed to grapple 
effectively (and efficiently) with today's and tomorrow's preservation 

The most notable development in the area of cooperative or regional 
conservation has been the experience of the Northeast Document Conser- 
vation Center (NEDCC). NEDCC was formed (as the New England Docu- 
ment Conservation Center) in 1973, but was conceived as early as 1965 by 
Walter Muir Whitehill and George Cunha at the Boston Anthenaem. The 
center was established under the New England Interstate Library Compact 
with start-up funds from the Council on Library Resources. It is adminis- 
tered by the New England Library Board, which consists of six state library 
agency heads or their designated representatives. 

Today, NEDCC has evolved into a successful cooperative venture. 19 In 
new larger quarters in Andover, Massachusetts, they serve several hundred 
clients and provide professional treatment for a wide variety of materials. 
They also offer field services such as mobile fumigation, disaster assis- 
tance, on-site consulting, surveys and collection evaluations, and 

From its inception, it was hoped that NEDCC would serve as a 
prototype for other regional centers to spring up around the country. Eight 
years later, they are still the only treatment center devoted to library and 
archival materials. Why? Mainly because the development of a treatment 
center is a complicated and expensive undertaking and because experts 
have vigorously warned against the too rapid rise of multiple centers before 
there are enough people to staff them. Additionally, NEDCC is essentially 
devoted to highly specialized item-by-item treatment of materials. 

National Planning and Regional Efforts 45 

Although conservation has traditionally been associated with the treat- 
ment of rare books and unique materials, raising the conservation con- 
sciousness of librarians and administrators has resulted in a shift in focus 
to the long-term maintenance of whole collections and preservation of the 
intellectual content of deteriorated materials. Can an administrator in 
good conscience support a regional treatment center when the library can 
only afford to send a few special items for treatment each year and when the 
bulk of the collection is in desperate need of preservation attention? 
NEDCC itself has responded to this shift in focus by expanding its consult- 
ing and training activities and by working closely with clients to help them 
select materials for treatment within the framework of a rational overall 
plan. Fledgling cooperative and regional efforts around the country are 
emphasizing those activities that can help libraries develop viable local 
programs to cope with the preservation problem. 

Demonstrating what can be accomplished in cooperative conserva- 
tion in a very discrete region is the Book Preservation Center serving the 
New York metropolitan area. 20 Hosted by the New York Botanical 
Gardens Library and using the facilities of its workshop, the center has, 
since 1979, built a very successful cooperative program. The center's pur- 
pose is to "help librarians plan and implement in-house preservation 
programs within the very real limitations of space, money, and staff." 21 

After visiting the participating libraries, the center developed its pack- 
age of services based on common needs. A series of workshops was held to 
demonstrate very basic procedures followed by a second series to teach 
more complex techniques. Participants were furnished with information 
sheets and illustrated instruction sheets. These handouts formed the basis 
for a manual to be published in 1983. The center has also compiled an 
extensive information file and even provides assistance to libraries in 
setting up in-house work areas. A three-year grant from the National 
Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is enabling the center to continue 
its workshops in New York, as well as hold workshops in other locations 
around the country. To date, the center is entirely supported by grant funds 
and provides service free of charge to participating libraries. From modest, 
but highly effective beginnings, the Book Preservation Center hopes to 
expand to include cooperative purchasing of supplies and restoration 
work on individual items for other libraries. 

A notable example of regional cooperative planning was the Western 
States Materials Conservation Project. The project began as a year-long 
saga to determine conservation needs in the states west of the Mississippi 
River and to develop a coordinated plan for conservation in the West. At 
twenty state meetings, 454 people participated to identify existing conser- 
vation programs, define needs, and suggest action. Three areas of concern 
were identified: conservation information and education; conservation 

46 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

services; and research, standards, and legislation. These three concerns 
formed the themes for discussion at the two-and-a-half-day Feasibility 
Colloquium at Snowbird, Utah. Two representatives from each state meet- 
ing attended the colloquium where the group voted to form the Western 
Conservation Congress and adopt a three-phase plan for regional 

As conceived at Snowbird, the Western Conservation Congress would, 
in its first phase, provide information to its members through a clearing- 
house. Components of the clearinghouse program would include directory 
information (such as people and services), notices of training and educa- 
tion offerings, development of conservation administration tools and 
information packets, and a consulting service. The second phase calls for 
creating a more sophisticated package of services, and the third phase for 
creating a network of conservation laboratories in the West. 

To date, the Western Conservation Congress, under the guidance of a 
steering committee, is exploring avenues for funding and using volunteers 
to maintain contact with its two hundred members. A catalog of conserva- 
tion reference materials in the West that can be loaned has been compiled. 
If the Western Conservation Congress can either obtain outside funding or 
muster a significant monetary commitment from its members, it will have 
a chance to survive and fulfill its potential. 

Similar in design to the Western States Materials Conservation Pro- 
ject, but on a smaller scale, the Midwest Regional Study for Materials 
Conservation was conducted to identify persons interested in conservation 
in a six-state region of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
and West Virginia. Planning meetings were held at three locations and the 
study's final report outlines possible avenues for cooperation. 

With direction and encouragement from the state libraries, statewide 
cooperative planning and activities are going forward in Colorado, Illi- 
nois, and Kentucky. 

In Colorado, a statewide plan, Towards a Cooperative Approach to 
the Preservation of Documentary Resources in Colorado was completed in 
1981 by Howard Lowell under contract with NEDCC and with funding 
from the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA). The published 
plan is the culmination of a planning and survey process that started with 
recommendations made during the Colorado meeting of the Western 
States Materials Conservation Project and included development of a 
self -assessment manual for libraries, conservation education and training 
experiences conducted in Colorado, and surveys of a representative sample 
of libraries to determine common problems and needs. The plan calls fora 
separate preservation position in the state library to be responsible for the 
coordination of preservation activities in the state. In the interim, the staff 

National Planning and Regional Efforts 47 

position charged with collection development has had the preservation 
responsibility added to it. 

In Illinois, as the result of a formal Needs Assessment Survey con- 
ducted in fall 1980, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale developed a 
proposal for an Illinois Cooperative Conservation Program (ICCP) and 
was successful in the fall of 1981 in securing LSCA funds on the recommen- 
dation of the Illinois State Library Advisory Committee. The program 
takes advantage of the cooperative mechanism that exists in ILLINET (the 
Illinois Library and Information Network) to enhance long-range library 
development by the addition of a conservation component. 

ICCP has built upon the outreach activities of Morris Library's con- 
servation program and, with input from a Program Advisory Committee, 
is bringing conservation services to all types of libraries in Illinois. The 
program offers an information service, publishes posters and information 
sheets and held eight workshops around the state. Other components of the 
program include an emphasis on disaster preparedness, the development 
and dissemination of training materials, and coordination of conservation 
and preservation activities throughout the state. 

In Kentucky, George Cunha is at it again as chairman of a Conserva- 
tion Advisory Committee appointed by the state librarian. The committee 
is surveying libraries and archival repositories in the state to gather infor- 
mation on existing conservation resources as the first step toward a long- 
range program for Kentucky. The committee has recommended and had 
approved both an expanded disaster assistance service and the establish- 
ment of a Conservation Clearinghouse as part of the Public Records 
Division of the Department of Library and Archives. 

All libraries face the need to preserve the mass of deteriorating mate- 
rials as well as arrange for the physical treatment of special items. Based on 
our experience in cooperation to date, it may be that the most viable 
arrangement for providing conservation services is a regional treatment 
center that can also dispense information, engage in training and consult- 
ing activities, and coordinate regional cooperative projects. 

An important concept in cooperative conservation is that, whatever 
services are available cooperatively, they must be in addition to activities 
taking place at individual libraries. Widi organizations such as ALA's 
Preservation of Library Materials Section, innovative programs such as 
ARL's Preservation Planning Project and SAA's Basic Archival Conserva- 
tion Program, and cooperative ventures such as the Book Preservation 
Center and the Illinois Cooperative Conservation Program, we are assured 
of having the tools needed to direct conservation activities and a forum for 
discussing common concerns. What is also vital to the preservation effort is 
informed library administrators who are willing to reorganize and 
upgrade the preservation and conservation function within their own 

48 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

libraries and commit funds. Cooperation is not a substitute for local action 
but an enhancement. Cooperation enables libraries to avoid needless 
duplication of effort, share scarce expertise, and afford services that may be 
unfeasible or prohibitively expensive on their own. For example, a group 
of libraries might cooperate to provide centralized cold storage for impor- 
tant but little-used research materials, but each individual library should 
also have proper environmental conditions for the rest of its collection. 
Training materials developed by a cooperative conservation center would 
greatly facilitate the implementaion of sound conservation procedures at 
individual libraries. 

Another important concept behind successful cooperation is that 
librarians and curators must be well informed about conservation in order 
to arrive at intelligent decisions about the best use of cooperative services. 
For example, a book that is extremely fragile and brittle should not be sent 
to a conservation treatment center for restoration unless the paper format is 
essential to understanding the work, or the physical book is important as 
an artifact. Even more basic, a certain level of sophistication about conser- 
vation is necessary for libraries even to recognize the potential benefits of 
cooperative conservation. 

Based on the experience of cooperative ventures to date, it seems that a 
key to success is the existence of an already established vehicle for coopera- 
tion. A formally organized and politically and financially secure basis for 
cooperation will lend itself to fewer problems of funding and long-term 
commitment. The sanction of an official body such as a state library, or 
regional system or network, can insure a broad base of support for coopera- 
tive action and can help keep momentum going in lean times. For exam- 
ple, the Northeast Document Conservation Center is authorized by the 
New England Interstate Library Compact, a regional political subdivision 
whose purpose is to plan and implement cooperative projects between 
libraries in a six-state region. NEDCC receives 10 percent of its annual 
budget from the Compact. The Research Libraries Group is an indepen- 
dent corporation formed by its members and dedicated to sharing resources; 
it concerns itself with preservation as a part of the total goal of dissemina- 
tion and access. 

On the other hand, a regional or cooperative center can be organized 
solely for the purpose of providing conservation services to its member- 
ship. Its success then depends on the members' continuing commitment to 
the venture, its businesslike operation, and the quality of the work gener- 
ated by the conservation staff. For example, the Conservation Center for 
Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia is an independent, nonprofit 
treatment laboratory that specializes in the treatment of art and historic 
artifacts on paper. Its nonprofit status also allows it to receive grant funds. 

National Planning and Regional Efforts 49 

The benefit of a supportive host institution is often crucial to the 
initial development and continued success of a cooperative conservation 
venture providing that the host does not impose undue restrictions or 
interfere with policy or operations. Part of the success of the Book Preserva- 
tion Center can undoubtedly be attributed to its having a "home" at the 
New York Botanical Gardens Library. Likewise, the Illinois Cooperative 
Conservation Program would in all probability not have made a begin- 
ning without the support of Morris Library and Southern Illinois 

Regardless of formal organizational structure, the services offered by a 
cooperative venture must reflect the members' needs, their willingness to 
pay for services, and the peculiarities of the region. If members are con- 
cerned with the maintenance of audiovisual materials, then a center must 
address their concerns. Members' willingness to pay a reasonable fee for 
services is a reflection of their commitment to the concept of conservation; 
a center that relies entirely on grant funds for support fosters unreal 
expectations and may have a difficult time getting even modest support if 
grant funds disappear. The cooperative mechanism successfully employed 
by a Book Preservation Center located in the Bronx and serving libraries in 
a 625-square-mile area would probably not work for a Western Conserva- 
tion Congress that plans to serve libraries in a 1.8 million-square-mile 

What kinds of services are feasible on a cooperative basis? Basically, 
they can be divided into five different types: information, consultation and 
surveying, cost-sharing, coordination, and treatment. 


Every planning document and needs assessment survey that has 
explored cooperative conservation has emphasized the need for basic and 
specific information. People want to know: What are the optimum storage 
conditions? How can environmental conditions be improved? How do I 
monitor the environment? What standards exist for library materials? 
What is the state of the art of mass deacidification? Who has conservation 
expertise in my region? Where can I locate vacuum-drying facilities? What 
is needed in a disaster preparedness plan? What are the best supplies and 
who sells them? Where can I get more training? 

Information can be offered in a variety of ways and, as the most basic 
service, costs for providing information are most logically absorbed in 
membership fees. A newsletter can keep libraries up to date on techniques, 
opportunities, and research. An on-line directory can match needs with 
people and services. Training materials such as slide/tape shows and 
manuals can be compiled and distributed. A lending library can make a 

50 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

reference and research collection available to all. And perhaps the most 
satisfying and expedient.. ."Hello, this is x library, can you tell me...?" 
Likewise, regional conservation centers would have a need for reliable 
technical information that would be developed and dispersed by the 
National Preservation Program or the proposed National Institute for 

Consultation and Surveying 

Shared expertise in the form of a consultant service can help members 
of a cooperative venture identify problems and determine directions. Col- 
lection surveys define and quantify individual situations and the accom- 
panying report can suggest improvements and serve as a basis for 
rationalizing increased funding for the local preservation effort. An 
inspection of the building might reveal the most economical plan for 
improving air exchange, upgrading systems for filtration of airborne 
pollutants, or adapting existing air-conditioning systems for humidity 
control. A consultant could survey present treatment practices and make 
recommendations for upgrading and expanding routine repair opera- 
tions. A specific, valuable collection might warrant piece-by-piece exami- 
nation by a conservator with recommendations for treatment, discussion of 
options, and cost estimates. 

Consultation services can be a routine task of staff employed by a 
cooperative center. Costs can be prorated depending on the complexity of 
the consulting task, or consulting and surveying services included as a 
privilege of membership. Or more simply, a cooperative center could serve 
a liaison function and arrange for fees and services from outside consul- 
tants, or merely put libraries in touch with appropriate experts. 


The dictionary definition of cooperation stresses economic coopera- 
tion and mutual profit. Conservation services that are financially unfeasi- 
ble for the individual library or infrequently needed can be made available 
through cost-sharing or a pooling of resources. Cooperative purchasing of 
supplies or equipment can reduce costs. For example, there is no reason for 
every library to own a $8,000 fumigator that may be used only a handful of 
times in a year. Likewise, polyester encapsulation could be performed 
more efficiently at a cooperative center that owned the $12,000 machine 
that neatly and quickly seals the edges of the envelope. Specific research 
contracted for by a cooperative center would be for the benefit of all 
libraries. Cost-sharing activities can be as simple as sharing the cost of an 
information service, or as elaborate as a cooperative preservation micro- 
filming project or regional cold storage facility. 

National Planning and Regional Efforts 51 


Coordination of regional preservation activities is a logical role fora 
cooperative center to assume. Preservation microfilming projects can be 
coordinated so that duplication of filming is eliminated. A cooperative 
center can also coordinate training and education opportunities. For 
example, staff from member libraries can attend intensive, short-term 
training sessions at a center. General workshops can be periodically offered 
at convenient locations. The technology of conservation is often at a level 
that overpowers local expertise and new developments are continually 
being offered as the panacea for all our problems. A cooperative center 
could screen new technology and coordinate specialized services such as 
vacuum-drying, conservation rebinding, and mass deacidification. 


The literature of cooperative conservation is replete with warnings 
about the establishment of regional treatment centers. This cautionary 
stance is advanced for a number of very valid reasons. First, fully-trained 
conservators are scarce; there are simply not enough qualified profession- 
als available to direct the workshops of very many regional centers. Second, 
technical support staff must be trained in-house a time-consuming and 
costly undertaking. Third, the cost of equipping a full-scale treatment 
facility is great. And fourth, "at-cost" treatment sounds great, but at-cost 
can still cost a lot. For example, some economies of scale are possible for 
some types of treatments; however, many operations take a given number 
of hours to complete satisfactorily regardless of whether it is on a profit or 
not-for-profit basis. 

Not to be all discouragement some simple operations can be per- 
formed at a cooperative treatment center as a prelude for more complicated 
treatments after the center is fully staffed and functioning. For instance, 
protective enclosures such as rare book boxes, portfolios, simple wrappers, 
and polyester film envelopes can be an appropriate and inexpensive option 
for libraries. Or, like NEDCC, a center might offer a microfilming service 
to provide archival -quality film for difficult-to-film materials. This type of 
basic conservation work can be done by conservation technicians trained 
and supervised by a conservator. More complicated restoration treatments 
for very valuable books, manuscripts, maps, and photographs could be 
gradually added to the repertoire of a center. Actually, it has been convinc- 
ingly argued that the scarcity of trained professionals is all the more reason 
for the existence of regional centers. Otherwise only the few and lucky elite 
will have access to these specialized services. 23 

Except for NEDCC, existing cooperative treatment centers are primar- 
ily for the treatment of museum materials. Most centers, including 
NEDCC, have been established with the assistance of a large start-up grant 

52 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

to defray the cost of equipment and give the center a grace period of several 
years. Ann Russell, Director of NEDCC, has suggested that realistically, a 
treatment center should receive some form of partial subsidy on a continu- 
ing basis. 

A center normally charges for services on an hourly basis. Overhead is 
included in the billing rate. Most centers charge higher fees for work done 
for nonmembers. For example, the Rocky Mountain Regional Conserva- 
tion Center charges a 25 percent higher rate for nonmembers. There are 
many possible arrangements for billing treatment services. The Conserva- 
tion Center for Art and Historic Artifacts offers contracts with members for 
single item treatments, intermittent treatments, or annual or multiyear 

At NEDCC there are no "fixed" costs for treatment because of the wide 
range of damage that can accrue to materials due to variations in the 
physical properties of paper, leather, etc., the environment in which the 
item was stored, and the use or abuse to which the item was subjected. A 
member first submits a document for pre-examination and the center 
prepares an estimate which is in turn submitted for the member's approval. 
The success of a center may depend on the ability of its conservators to 
estimate the cost of each individual job accurately. 

What is standing in the way of the development of multiple coopera- 
tive regional centers that offer a variety of information, education, coordi- 
nation and treatment services? 

The number one impediment is cost. Since libraries are impoverished 
these days, they exercise extreme caution when advised that they will have 
to pay for a new (even if it is vital) service. The bottom line is, of course, 
priorities. But who can blame the library administrator faced with the 
rapid rise in the cost of serial subscriptions and the rapid fall in the morale 
of staff who receive inadequate salary increases? With standstill budgets, 
an administrator is wanting to commit even modest funds to preservation 
would be forced to take funds away from something else. 

On the other hand, libraries have found money to improve biblio- 
graphic access to resources. And some would say that to plan and imple- 
ment an elaborate and expensive automated system for bibliographic 
access without also providing for preservation is shortsighted. It may be 
that once we have perfected systems to identify and locate bibliographic 
items exactly, we will go to the shelves (or in a cooperative system send 
someone in some distant library to the shelves) only to find the physical 
item disintegrated. Then we have to go back and update the file, right? 

Cooperative preservation and conservation can and should exist on a 
number of levels. Preservation planning and coordination on the national 
level is imperative, as is the measured development of a network of regional 
centers that are responsive to regional needs and that reflect national 

National Planning and Regional Efforts 53 

priorities. There is no simple or cheap answer to the preservation problem, 
but if we accept the preservation challenge, then perhaps cooperation can 
be an important enhancement to our efforts. 


1. Williams, Gordon R. "The Preservation of Deteriorating Books: Part I: 
Examination of the Problem." Library Journal 91(1 Jan. 1966):51-56. 

2. W.J. Barrow Laboratory. Permanence /Durability of the Book, 7 vols. 
Richmond, Va.: W.J. Barrow Research Laboratory, 1963-74. 

3. Winger, Howard W., and Smith, Richard D., eds. Deterioration and 
Preservation of Library Materials (Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Conference of 
the Graduate Library School.f 4-6 Aug. 1969). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970. 
Published originally in Library Quarterly vol. 40, Jan. 1970. 

4. Haas, Warren J. Preparation of Detailed Specifications for a National System for the 
Preservation of Library Materials. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 
1972. (Reprinted in Information-Part 2: Reports, Bibliographies, vol. 2, nos. l-2(1973):17-37.) 

5. "Preservation Office at LC." Library of Congress Information Bulletin 
26(2 Nov. 1967):721-22. 

6. Schur, Susan. "Library/Conservation Profile: The Newberry Library." 
Technology and Conservation 6(Summer 1981):22-31. 

7. See Baker, John P. "Preservation Programs of the New York Public 
Library. Part I. The Early Years." Microform Review 10(Wimer 1981):25-28. 

8. Walker, Gay. "Preservation at Yale." Conservation Administration News, 
no. l(June 1979):!, 6, 8. 

9. Byrne, Sherry. "Columbia University: Pioneer in Preservation." Conser- 
vation Administration News, no. 7(June 1981):!, 4, 5. 

10. Haas, Preparation of Detailed Specifications. 

11. Library of Congress. "The Preservation Program of the Library of Congress." 
In A National Preservation Program: Proceedings of a Planning Conference (held 16, 17 Dec. 
1976). Washington, D.C.: LC, 1980, pp. 16-26. 

12. Ibid. 

13. American Library Association. Resources and Technical Services Division. Manual 
of Procedures. Chicago: ALA, 1977. 

14. National Conservation Advisory Council. The Report of the Study Committee on 
Libraries and Archives. Washington, D.C.: NCAC, 1978. 

15. Ibid. 

16. Research Libraries Group. Preservation Committee. "Research Libraries 
Information Network. Design Requirements for Preservation Support Enhancements: 
Microforms." Mimeographed. Stanford, Calif.: RLG, 1981. 

17. Darling, Pamela W. "Towards a N.uiuirTT Nationwide Preservation Program." 
Library Journal 104(1 May 1979):1012. 

18. Ibid. 

19. Russell, Ann. "Regional Conservation: A New England Example." In 
Preservation of Paper and Textiles of Historic and Artistic Value II, edited by John C. 
Williams, pp. 25-32. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society, 1981. 

20. Reed, Judith. "A Nucleus of Guidance, A Center for Preservation." 
Library Scene 9(Sept. 1982): 12- 13. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Day, Karen. "A Conservation Plan for the West." Conservation Administra- 
tion News, no. 6(Feb. 1981 ):1, 6-8. 

23. Bruer, J. Michael. "Regional Cooperation for Disaster Preparedness." 
In Disasters: Prevention and Coping, edited by James Meyers and Denise Bedford. Stanford, 
Calif.: Stanford University Libraries, 1981. 

54 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 


Gerald Lundeen (Graduate School of Library Science, University of 
Hawaii, Honolulu): I think I heard you say that the NEDCC was the only 
regional treatment center. The Pacific Regional Conservation Center does 
offer treatment and services to libraries and museums in the state of Hawaii 
and the Pacific region. 

Carolyn Clark Morrow: Yes. So does the Conservation Center for Art and 
Historic Artifacts. What I said was "devoted to"; that was begun on that 

Lundeen: Right. That I believe is its primary mission. 
Morrow: In Hawaii? 
Lundeen: Yes. 

Morrow: I'm mistaken then, if you say its primary mission is library 

Lundeen: Library and museum. 

Morrow: Museums tend to have what they consider more precious mate- 
rials, so even NEDCC, especially because its conservator comes from a 
museum background, has attracted a lot of museum work. 

Tom Kilton (Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): You 
were mentioning the RLG (Research Libraries Group) plan to have a list 
of microform masters that would go into RLIN. First, is there any coopera- 
tion planned between this effort and the present National Register of 
Microforms records at LC; and secondly, if it does go on-line into RLIN, 
will libraries who are not members of RLIN have access to the informa- 
tion, to maybe offprints or some other means? 

Morrow: Yes, the plan I saw talked about at least the potential for a 
published list. They also emphasized that the system will be compatible 
with other automated systems so that they would be able to be used by other 
RLG members. I know there are RLG people here and maybe they would 
like to speak to that. 

Nancy Gwinn (Research Libraries Group): What Carolyn has said is 
correct. The design requirements for enhancing the RLIN data base with 
regard to microforms called for the ability to retrieve records for master 
negatives and produce, from that, a union list in some form of hard copy, 
either COM or paper it's uncertain. The requirements are just that 
requirements. Our systems people are now looking at that document and 
beginning to work on the specifications that would allow for that to 
happen. It's still unknown what the cost will be. It's still unknown what 
the demand is. So there are a number of questions to be answered but the 

National Planning and Regional Efforts 55 

Preservation Committee is well aware of the need to disseminate this 
information outside the partnership. RLG doesn't think it can solve the 
preservation problem alone any more than can any other institution or 
group of institutions, so they are looking at this as a national responsibil- 
ity and hoping that, in fact, it can be meshed with other efforts. If we can 
make our programs and plans known, then other people can use that in 
deciding what they want to do, and perhaps we can carve the problem 
down to manageable size. As far as the National Register is concerned, it 
would be very nice if we could take the whole file that exists there in the 
Register office (and I've been to look at it and have seen it it's a nice 
alphabetized, integrated file), and just convert it through a retrospective 
conversion process to machine-readable form. It would be a mammoth 
project to do that and it would require a lot of editing of the file before it 
could be easily converted. It's not something that can be scanned like the 
card stock in the Card Division which is all nice and clean with a nice 
access number. The RLG Board has now stated that, as a priority for RLG, 
members will look to converting their own files of master negatives and 
contributing the cataloging to RLIN. We would like to draw the Library of 
Congress into this, if not for the whole register file, then at least for the files 
that exist in LC's own preservation microfilming office, of the things that 
it has itself filmed, which, of course, is a substantial amount of material. 
And we do have, as a member of our Preservation Committee, Peter Sparks, 
who is the new Preservation Officer at LC, and we are exploring with him 
the possibilities of doing this. I do not know what the prospects are because 
it involves LC's agreeing either to produce tapes or to input directly into 
RLIN through terminals and they do not now have the capacity to do that. 
But we are talking about it. That's for the retrospective part. As far as the 
future of the National Register itself, I'm sure that you've all seen 
announcements of the possible automating of die National Union Catalog 
which would incorporate the National Register in some form. There is a 
lot of work going on now among the utilities talking about contributing 
records to the National Union Catalog in tape form. Those records, of 
course, would include any cataloging of microforms or master negatives 
that is done, so through that circuitous route, those records would eventu- 
ally reach the National Union Catalog, and one might say that that would 
become the union catalog for master negatives as well as everything else. 
But how quickly that might, in fact, transpire is still a question and it's 
unclear. Also, whether there would be a product like the National Register 
produced from the National Union Catalog or if everything would be in 
one grand list of some sort is still not determined. So there are still lots of 
questions. But RLG is really looking at the retrospective problem of 
capturing the records that exist. We at least do have the published volumes 

56 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

of the Register that have been produced so far. It will be up to the Library of 
Congress, to a certain extent, to determine the future and whether or not 
this can be worked into the National Union Catalog. 


Head, Preservation Department 
Columbia University Libraries 

Preservation of Paper Based Materials: 

Mass Deacidification Methods 

and Projects 


When I was first asked to update my 1979 Library Journal paper on mass 
deacidification processes, I thought it would be simple. I could just write 
"nothing's happened," and go on my way, or just say "there's not yet a 
good process" and leave it at that. But I found that there is still a lot of 
controversy regarding deacidification within the preservation profession. 
In the first month of research into new developments in mass deacidifica- 
tion, I heard or read "morpholine is the only viable process," "I looked at 
the Canadian Archives project, it looks great," "diethyl zinc is the only way 
to go," "VPD is the best method of deacidification." I began quickly to 
realize that the issue has not been settled and probably won't be for some 

My other thought, that nothing has happened since 1979, 1 found was 
also not true. There have been several developments; two of the three 
processes are being tested right now, and information will soon be avail- 
able on their efficacy and licensing for commercial use. I know that this has 
been said for years, and it may be several more years before one is commer- 
cially available, but no longer because diere is not a viable working 
process. We are still in a transitional stage, nothing is yet in an actual 
operational phase. 

First, let's review what a mass deacidification process is, what it does, 
and how it will benefit libraries that have millions of brittle books. Well, it 
won't. Mass deacidification does not return a book to its original condi- 
tion. Deacidifying a brittle books leaves you with a brittle book. "Many 
researchers dream of finding a fountain of youth" 1 for books, said Richard 


58 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Smith, in 1979. But a mass deacidification process cannot guarantee eter- 
nal life for books, it can only prolong the life of books that are in a 
nondeteriorated condition. The book will last longer because the paper is 
more permanent, but that does not make it more durable so that it can 
stand longer use. 

The term deacidification is actually a misnomer. Acid in the paper is 
neutralized (the paper is not actually deacidified) and is buffered i.e., an 
alkaline reserve is introduced so that new acid formed in the paper 
through further degradation or introduced from polluted air will also be 
neutralized in the future. Acid in paper, introduced in several ways, 
whether from alum rosin size, bleach used in manufacturing, or in lignin 
as part of the ground wood pulp, is the catalyst which causes the chemical 
breakdown of paper. As a catalyst, it is not used up in the chemical 
reactions and, therefore, is always present to cause further deterioration. 

Mass deacidification is the process by which a bound volume or stack 
of loose sheets can be neutralized and buffered as a whole. The neutraliza- 
tion agent is introduced into the volume as a gas or a liquid which 
penetrates the entire volume. The gas or liquid is pulled into the paper 
under a vacuum, the paper deacidified, and the waste products pulled out 
and destroyed. 

There are a few points I would like to make about deacidification 
processes in general. First, they are highly technical in nature, as you will 
see in a moment, and require skilled engineers and technicians to set them 
up and operate them. These professional people are expensive. But these 
processes' technical apparatus require skills not taught in library school. 
For this reason, and other safety and health considerations, an off site 
technical facility will be necessary except in the largest libraries. Besides 
personnel costs, there are equipment, chemical and handling costs that 
will necessarily require either cooperative ventures among libraries or a 
commercial basis of operation. 

Second, as I have said, a brittle book would benefit very little from 
mass deacidification. The ideal time to deacidify a book is when it is new, 
in good condition, and not yet deteriorated. I think it will be difficult to 
persuade librarians that a new book needs this kind of attention. It will 
require a conscious decision that this book has long range value, meets 
long-term research needs, and is necessary to the collection for permanent 
retention. An interest is developing in providing mass deacidification 
services among commercial binders. The paper could be deacidified when 
the book or serial is bound or rebound, at the time the book is disbound. 
The book has already been sent outside the building, and the procedures 
for handling these materials are well-defined. One could perhaps safely 
assume that if a monograph needs rebinding, it has been used, and there- 
fore is necessary to the collection. However, at the costs estimated, $5 per 

Mass Deacidification 59 

book added to an estimated cost of at least $6 for binding, could we justify 
deacidifying volumes sent for binding, or would there have to be another 
set of selection criteria? Also, because of the still largely undetermined 
effect on book structures, bindings, inks, and adhesives, one must still be 
cautious about sending very valuable books or unique manuscript mate- 
rials for deacidification. Beside the possible effect of the deacidification 
process, one must take into account the need for security outside the 
library. So for the forseeable future, we are faced with several unanswerable 

Back to the topic at hand. George Kelly of the Library of Congress and 
Jonathan Arney, recently of Carnegie-Mellon and now in the paper indus- 
try, have identified criteria necessary for a good mass deacidification pro- 
cess. I have borrowed from their lists with slight adjustments and 
combined information from various sources to compile the following list 
of criteria for a mass deacidification process: 

1. Is the book completely penetrated in a reasonable time? 

2. Is the book paper uniformly neutralized? 

3. Is the book paper at an adequate pH level? 

4. Is an alkaline reserve left in the paper? 

5. Does the agent react chemically with the paper and not volatilize out? 

6. Is an odor left in the book? 

7. Is the treatment process toxic to humans or the environment? 

8. Is the treated paper toxic to humans? 

9. Are new problems introduced or paper characteristics changed? 

10. Is the treatment economically feasible? 

11. Can the process be done in-house? 

12. Are there exceptions, i.e., books that should not be treated? 

The four processes I will be discussing are the vapor phase deacidification, 
Barrow morpholine, the Wei T'o liquified gas, and the diethyl zinc 

Vapor Phase Deacidification (VPD) 

Although I was not specifically asked to talk about the Langwell VPD 
method, I am disturbed that it is still being produced and sold, and would 
like to discuss it briefly. 

VPD, or vapor phase deacidification, is sold either as pellets encased in 
cheesecloth pouches to be placed in archival storage boxes, or in thin 
porous envelopes which can be used to interleave a book. The solid pellets 
vaporize to permeate the paper with an alkaline gas which neutralizes the 
acid in the paper. The pH is raised only to 5.6 not high enough to be 
really effective. No buffering agent is left in the paper, so there are no 

60 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

long-term effects. The VPD process is being marketed by Interleaf, Inc., in 
Minneapolis, and advertisements for it have appeared in recent issues of 
Libiary Scene and other library publications. 

The primary problem with VPD is that the main agent is cyclohexy- 
lamine carbonate (CHC), which hydrolyzes (reacts with water in the air) to 
cyclohexylamine, one of the cyclamates and a well-known carcinogen. 
This is a health hazard to both library staff and library patrons, because the 
gas doesn't react chemically with the paper but volatilizes out. Most 
suppliers have discontinued the sale of VPD. Nancy Gwinn in her article 
about the Council on Library Resources and preservation reported that 
Process Materials Corporation has discontinued carrying it, 2 and I would 
like to reiterate that it should not be used. Langwell's development of the 
VPD process and its subsequently identified health risks led the Barrow 
Laboratory scientists to investigate other chemical substances. 3 

Librarians should recognize that they could be liable in a lawsuit if 
persons were to develop health problems, and this consideration should 
discourage the use of hazardous substances such as VPD in libraries and 
archives. Pro VPD articles have been appearing in the literature lately, and 
there is controversy about the health risks; but until further research is 
done, and definite documented information is available, I recommend that 
it not be used. 


The Barrow morpholine process has also been very much a topic in 
the news lately. The recent articles on preservation by Pamela Darling and 
Sherelyn Ogden 4 in Library Resources b Technical Services and by Nancy 
Gwinn, 5 "CLR and Preservation "in College & Research Libraries review 
the significant contributions W. J. Barrow made to the field of preserva- 
tion, as does the article by David Roberson 6 in the second volume, Preserva- 
tion of Paper and Textiles published by the American Chemical Society. 
Barrow was one of the first to recognize and quantify the rate of deteriora- 
tion of paper and the role of acid and environment in its chemical deterio- 
ration. He was also one of the pioneers in the treatment of paper. In many 
ways, because he was the first and because the field has moved in more 
technical directions some of his methods have since been discredited. An 
example of this is cellulose acetate lamination of paper, which if not done 
to specifications can cause further deterioration and is nonreversible for all 
practical purposes. He is, however, credited with the two step aqueous 
deacidification method widely used today. But one of the discredited 
projects of the Barrow laboratories is the morpholine mass deacidification 

Mass Deacidification 61 

It has been difficult to lay to rest the topic of morpholine. The Council 
on Library Resources (CLR) which has put more than $1.67 million into 
the Barrow laboratory, 7 has patented the process, and vested the patent in 
the Research Corporation, a non-profit firm which handles many aca- 
demic patents. CLR has not yet responded to the latest research which 
would lead them to discontinue promoting the process, but there has 
recently been a noticeable change. They had been willing to give the 
equipment, still in the Virginia State Library, to libraries which might 
find the funds to test the process, and have encouraged libraries to do so. 
The Research Libraries Group Preservation Committee talked about test- 
ing to be done at Stanford or Johns Hopkins, but after consideration, the 
topic was dropped. In the Winter 1980 issue of American Archivist, a 
Technical Note was published which indicated that the Pacific Northwest 
Conservation Laboratory of Port Orchard, Washington, would be setting 
up a deacidification unit using morpholine. 8 However, according to 
Robert Goldsmith of Research Corporation: "the only work that has been 
done utilizing our process was done at the Virginia State Library." 9 That 
project did not come to fruition, as far as I can tell. 

With the publication of Nancy Gwinn's article and the Roberson 
article, the controversy has again surfaced. But more information is now 
available from current research which shows the limited usefulness and the 
health hazards of morpholine. 

The Library of Congress Preservation Division Research and Testing 
Laboratories tested paper treated with morpholine in the early 1970s. The 
test results show that morpholine volatilized out of the paper within two 
weeks, and more quickly under humid artificial aging conditions. There is 
also the problem that morpholine leaves no alkaline reserve or buffering 
agent in the paper and therefore does not prevent future degradation from 
new acid produced by or introduced into the paper. The process would 
probably add ten years to the life of a book, but it would have to be repeated 
at intervals in order to preserve a book over a longer period of time. 

The statement by Roberson that a "recent test of twenty treated books 
at the Library of Congress show that their pH has not declined in two 
years," 10 was brought into question by George Kelly of the Library of 
Congress. He said they had not done any recent testing. Peter Sparks, Chief 
of the Library of Congress Preservation Division, has also indicated that 
the implications of the statement that the "Library of Congress Research 
and Testing Office tested the process extensively and generally corrobo- 
rated the findings of the lengthy and thorough testing previously carried 
out by the Barrow lab," 11 are not true. Having seen the test results from the 
Library of Congress in the 1977 Barrow final grant report, some of which 
are discussed in my earlier article, I can also verify that. Because of this 
implied recommendation of morpholine by the Library of Congress, Peter 

62 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Sparks is currently researching morpholine as a chemical substance and 
intends to publish the results of his research in the near future. In a recent 
article on an experiment using morpholine to deacidify textiles, it was 
indicated that it caused discoloring and accelerated loss of strength. (Kerr, 
N. et al. "Reinforcing Degraded Textiles: Effect of Deacidification on 
Fabric Deterioration." In Durability of Macromolecular Materials, (ACS 
Symposium Series, no. 95), edited by R.K. Eby, pp. 357-69. Washington, 
D.C.: American Chemical Society, 1979.) 

The most important issue with respect to morpholine is the risk to the 
health of both staff and patrons which might accrue, especially in cases 
where libraries might contain many treated books. Because the morpho- 
line volatilizes out of the paper into the atmosphere, it is important that the 
chemical be harmless and innocuous. As both Nancy Gwinn and the 
American Archivist Technical Report indicate there is no evidence that 
morpholine is mutagenic or carcinogenic by itself, or that it combines with 
nitrites in polluted air to create nitrosomorpholine, a carcinogenic sub- 
stance. However, there is significant evidence that it will convert in the 
presence of nitrites under aqueous acid conditions (such as in the human 
stomach) to the carcinogenic state. Nitrites are widely used as food preser- 
vatives and are probably present in all stomachs, and breathing morpho- 
line assimilates it into the body thus possibly setting the stage for the 
critical conversion. This may be overstating the case, but in a test of seven 
animals, rats showed 100 percent cancer tumor formation when morpho- 
line and nitrites were introduced into their stomachs. 12 We are all aware of 
the shortcomings of this type of research and the small test sample, but 
there does seem to be a significant correlation. The Library of Congress 
staff reported that they developed headaches and nausea when testing 
morpholine. My feeling is that, overstated or not, we do not want to create 
any possible risks to our staffs or users. Minimum government standards 
for the volume of morpholine in the air (20ppm) are met under morpho- 
line process conditions, but it is rumored that the government will be 
reevaluating that standard, and that the feeling is that any level of morpho- 
line in the air is unsafe, especially in nonventilated areas with stagnant air. 

It is ironic that the Barrow scientists began looking at morpholine as 
an alternative when the VPD process was recognized as a hazardous sub- 
stance, and that morpholine has now been also recognized as hazardous. Of 
course, no guilt can be assigned. At the time the Barrow lab was working 
with morpholine, it was used industrially in many common household 
products, and was approved as a food additive. 

Beside the fact the the morpholine process doesn't really work, and 
that it is a health hazard, in a humid atmosphere it smells like dead fish. I 
also hope that it will soon become a dead issue. If you want to know more 
about the morpholine process, how it was developed or how it works, I 

Mass Deacidification 63 

refer you to the references in my 1979 article, and Nancy Gwinn's article 
gives an excellent account of the history and development of the process in 
the Barrow laboratories. 

Wei T'o Liquified Gas 

Mass deacidification has long been one of Richard Smith's research 
and development interests. His 1970 dissertation for the University of 
Chicago Graduate Library School addressed the topic of nonaqueous 
deacidification. In 1972 he patented a nonaqueous process in the United 
States and Canada. His company, Wei T'o Associates, markets this product 
as a solution or a spray. Wei T'o is the "ancient Chinese God who protects 
books against destruction from fire, worms and insects, and robbers, big or 
small," according to the company letterhead. The deacidification agent in 
Wei T'o is methyl magnesium carbonate. This same agent is used in the 
mass deacidification process. 

In 1974, Richard Smith was asked by Jan Pidek, head of the Records 
Conservation Division of the Public Archives and the National Library of 
Canada, to direct the installation and testing of this mass deacidification 
process using Wei T'o as the deacidification agent. In 1977, an article on 
the design of the system was published in the American Chemical Society's 

a Q 

work, Preservation of Paper and Textiles edited by John Williams. When 
I recently interviewed Jan Pidek for this paper, he said that the tests had 
taken longer than anticipated, but that they were very pleased with the 
results. They were looking for perfection, and had nearly gotten there. I 
asked about the publication of the test results. He said they were still 
testing, and wanted to be sure not to jump the gun as he felt others had 
done in this field. He anticipates that they will soon go into systematic 
operational use and within the next six months should have information 
available for publication. This information will include costs, personnel 
necessary, testing results, and other types of data that require operational 
experience. The Canadian project has involved local engineers and techni- 
cal personnel working with Richard Smith, using his product. 

This process is basically different from the morpholine or the Library 
of Congress diethyl zinc process because it requires that the deacidification 
agent be introduced as a liquid that impregnates dried books under pres- 
sure instead of as a gaseous agent. The solvent in this mass process is 
methanol and dichlorodifluoro-methane a nonflammable, nonexplo- 
sive, and low hazard chemical. It will clean and rapidly wet closed books; 
can dissolve and transport the deacidification agent; can be readily 
removed from books; and it is easily recovered. The paper is buffered with a 
magnesium carbonate reserve. 

64 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

This process is actually the least controversial of the three. Problems 
exist because the books must be moistened by the solvent. As Richard 
Smith says: "Actually the books are flooded; they are absolutely soaking 
wet all the way through," 14 but the deacidification medium is widely used 
by paper conservators, somewhat modified at the Library of Congress, and 
the chemistry is recognized to be sound. Because this process does seem to 
be viable, and the Canadian test successful, a discussion of how it works is 

First the books are selected for treatment. Because of the need to wet the 
books and the solvent used, some books are inappropriate for treatment. 
These include books containing ball point ink and laminated plastic or 
artificial leather bindings which might be effected by moisture or heat. Any 
alcohol-soluble ink causes problems too, as do 'some colored inks. The 
print may offset or feather while wet. The selected books are loaded into 
several wire baskets which hold ten to fifteen books. They are dried for 
twenty-four hours in a warm air dryer, then loaded into a vacuum dryer to 
be dried overnight. It is necessary that the books be completely dry because 
if the deacidification agent reacts with moisture, it precipitates out to a 
solid state. About twenty-five dried books are loaded into the process 
chamber at one time. The air in the chamber is evacuated, the pressure 
equalized between the process and storage tanks, and the deacidification 
solution pumped out. The books are thoroughly wetted by increasing the 
pressure. The excess solution is drained out and flash drying commences 
by evacuating, recovering and condensing the solvent vapors. Richard 
Smith mentions that this is analogous to the working of a refrigerator. A 
vacuum pump removes the residual solvent. The books are warmed by 
warm air, the pressure raised so the doors can be opened, and the books 
removed. The books are then packed into cardboard cartons and allowed to 
regain moisture and return to room temperature overnight. 

Because of the nature of the solvent, the paper does not swell, and thus 
does not stress the bindings. 

Richard Smith has published this process in several places, and arti- 
cles are available which go into much greater detail about the mechanics of 
the system. I am not sure what the next step for implementing this process 
is. Jan Pidek indicated that the National Library of Canada and the Public 
Archives of Canada will probably license the process and make it available 
to other libraries. We are still some time away from test results from the 
National Library of Canada. Conservation professionals who have seen 
the setup in Canada think it could be a useful process. It was indicated that 
there are not any other libraries thinking about using the process at this 
time. The mechanics of increasing the scale will have to be addressed and 
could create unforeseen problems. The process will also have to be shown 
to be cost effective. Estimated costs right now are $4 per book. 

Mass Deacidification 65 

The conservation profession feels that objective information is not 
available. George Kelly remarked in the Cambridge Conference Preprints 
that, "We will look forward to the opportunity to evaluate the results for 
the pilot trials when they are published." Very little has been written on the 
Wei T'o liquified gas process except by Richard Smith. To date, an 
unbiased description of the process or its results has not been published. 
This has caused a tendency for skepticism in the field, and the publication 
of results from Canada by less-biased researchers, scientists, and engineers 
are eagerly awaited. We are in a "waitand see" holding pattern at this time. 

Richard Smith says that it is possible that this process can be expanded 
to include paper strengthening agents for brittle paper, fungicides and 
other rodent and insect repellants. Richard Smith is doing further research 
into these possibilities, and tells me he is currently looking for funding. 

Diethyl Zinc 

Peter Sparks, Chief of the Preservation Division at the Library of 
Congress, is strongly committed to putting the diethyl zinc process into 
operation. After many obstacles have recently been overcome, it seems that 
it will be an effective, viable, mass deacidification process. Further large- 
scale trials will be held at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center chamber 
in Green Belt, Maryland, in April (originally they were planned for 
October or November, but have been bumped by the space shuttle). 

George Kelly, Robert McComb and John Williams, research scientists 
in the LC Preservation Division Research and Testing Office, began 
working on developing a mass deacidification process in 1971. They had 
experimental results that the amines (e.g., morpholine) were ineffective in 
the long run because they volatilize out of the paper. They turned to an 
organo-metallic compound, diethyl zinc. By 1972 they were publishing 
early test results . The first large-scale trials were held in 1978 in the 
General Electric Space Center in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. General 
Electric had been using this chamber to dry flood wet books, were familiar 
with libraries, and at that time were interested in further services to librar- 
ies. There were three trials in 1978, with interesting results. 

The processes seemed to work well, but two major problems surfaced. 
One was the deposit of irridescent ring formation on book covers packed in 
contact with each other, and the other was the tendency of the diethyl zinc 
deacidified paper to age more quickly than usual under exposure to 
ultraviolet light in humid aging tests. The problem with the covers was 
solved by mechanical means in succeeding trials; spacers of hardware mesh 
between the books kept the rings from forming. The light sensitivity 
problem was solved chemically by modifyfing the process to leave zinc 
carbonate rather than zinc oxide as the alkaline reserve. This was accom- 

66 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

plished by adding carbon dioxide in a damp state into the chamber after the 
excess diethyl zinc was destroyed. 

The essential points of the process are as follows: 5000 books are 
loaded on loosely packed shelves spine down for easier gas penetration; 
spacers of hardware mesh are placed between the books. The books are 
warmed and dried in a vacuum chamber for three days in order to remove 
all traces of water. This is very important because diethyl zinc is explosive 
in the presence of water. After the chamber is at full vacuum, with no leaks 
(diethyl zinc ignites on reaction with air), the chemical reagent is added. 
Diethyl zinc is a sensitive leak detector, even an extremely tiny leak will 
show up as white smoke in the chamber. The smoke settles on the books in 
the form of a white powder which is a nuisance to clean off. After three days 
exposure to the vapor, under pressure, the books are completely pene- 
trated, deacidified and buffered. The excess diethyl zinc is then removed 
from the chamber by adding alcohol. There are to be some variations of 
this part of the process which will be worked out for the next trial run. The 
vapor is tested to insure that all the diethyl zinc is gone, and the organic 
vapors are then pumped from the chamber and moist carbon dioxide is 
pumped in. After twenty-four hours, the moist carbon dioxide has hydro- 
lyzed the diethyl zinc cellulosate to reform the cellulose and leave zinc 
carbonate as the alkaline reserve. The chamber is again pumped out and 
the books removed. 

The treatment cycle lasts eight days. As you can see, it is very impor- 
tant that the chamber be monitored for any type of leak. This is not a 
process that can be done in a library basement. It is, however, a process that 
can be done in any vacuum chamber, and there are vacuum chambers large 
enough to hold a Polaris missile. 

Test results show that the pH of the book paper is raised to 7.8 and an 
adequate two percent alkaline reserve is left. This is a relatively mild 
process which makes it more applicable to items with colored inks. 
Because the agent is introduced in a vapor state, it does not involve wetting 
the books and there is little danger of offsetting printed images or of the 
feathering of ink. 

Some anomalies have shown up in the latest test results. Groundwood 
papers showed increased degradation under dry aging conditions, but 
performed well under humid conditions. The next series of tests should 
give further information. Peter Sparks has indicated that the Library of 
Congress is considering asking several libraries to contribute books for 
testing so some independent testing on penetration, pH and aesthetic 
considerations can be done. 

The only testing to date has been at the Library of Congress. Test 
results have been widely published in the library preservation media 

Mass Deacidification 67 

together with full discussions of both the problems encountered and the 
solutions to those problems. 

Because the diethyl zinc reacts chemically with the pa per and remains 
in the paper as zinc carbonate, health risks should not be a problem with 
the treated books. Peter Sparks is researching this further now. 

Since 1979, several administrative problems have surfaced. General 
Electric (GE) no longer has any plans to use the space chamber for books 
whether drying flood wet books or for mass deacidification. The GE 
chemist, Dick Schoulberg, who worked on his project, was very apologetic, 
but felt that due to the new management nothing could be done at this 
time. Rumor has it that the chamber is for sale, if anyone is interested. They 
feel that there isn't any profit in it, and they have been unwilling to take the 
risk of an incident with the chemical diethyl zinc. The newest approaches 
to the shipping, handling and costs of diethyl zinc might change their 
minds. The Library of Congress has turned to government owned NASA 
chambers. Peter Sparks assures me that there are several that should be 
available. A commercial library binder indicated interest in offering this 
service, but felt that the fact that the Library of Congress has gone to 
internal chambers has effectively kept the private commercial sector out. It 
remains to be seen what will happen. There are probably chambers avail- 
able, but where and how available is yet to be determined. The Library of 
Congress is exploring this process with large industrial firms who may 
want to set up centralized service centers. 

The primary administrative problem has been the transport and han- 
dling of diethyl zinc. As I have mentioned, it is a very volatile substance, 
igniting on contact with air, and explosive on contact with water. The 
manufacturer, Texas Alkyls, a division of Stauffer Chemical, had been for 
some time unable to find a satisfactory means of shipping the chemical. 
They were not willing to take the liability risks of having their truck blow 
up on the highway; and diethyl zinc tended to corrode standard containers. 
The problem has recently been solved as indicated in the "Annual Report 
of the Librarian of Congress, 1980" as published in the Library of Congress 
Information Bulletin: "Continued work by Stauffer Chemical Company, 
however, has indicated a possible solution to the supply of diethyl zinc in a 
50/50 mixture with mineral oil. Hazard tests on this mixture are under way 
and a laboratory sample is scheduled for testing in May." 17 According to 
Peter Sparks, this testing was done, and the mixture with mineral oil was 
successful. The oil nullifies the properties of the diethyl zinc, and as they 
have very different boiling points, the diethyl zinc can be removed as a gas 
simply by hooking up a line and pulling a vacuum. Some questions have 
come up as to the supply of diethyl zinc; Texas Alkyls considered discon- 
tinuing its manufacture, but have been persuaded to continue and have 
come up with cheaper methods of production. 

68 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

The Library of Congress is moving very quickly to complete another 
large scale test in the Spring. Funding has been obtained and all is ready to 
proceed. The intent is to license the process for the private sector. Peter 
Sparks indicated that there are several interested parties, and that it should 
move very quickly from here. A report at ALA in Philadelphia (summer 
1982) should be available with results of these trials. One question that 
remains to be seen is whether librarians will be willing to pay the $4 to $5 
per book plus handling and shipping. It may be cheaper if larger numbers 
of books are done at one time in larger chambers. The ideal candidates will 
be the nonrare books that are still new and relatively undeteriorated, both 
because of the offsite requirements and the nature of the process. The next 
few years of experience at the Library of Congress will show us the way. LC 
has budgeted $50,000 for books from their collections to be deacidified in 
1983 and more for 1984. 


In my research, I tried to get realistic analyses of the situation from 
various scientists, conservators and other people in the field. I don't know 
whether I got any views that were realistic. And I'm not sure what the 
future prospects are. I think one would need a crystal ball to call this one. 
My best analysis of the situation is: 

1. VPD use should be discontinued; no longer sold, or used. 

2. The morpholine process should be dropped because it doesn't work 
and there are health risks pending further research. 

3. We will have to wait to see about the Wei T'o process. It 
has still not been tested or used on a large scale, and test results are not 
yet available. 

4. Diethyl zinc process will be further tested in the Spring. The 
problems of available chambers, liability, safety and environmental 
risks related to its use will have to be solved. It looks like they will be, 
and this process probably has the most possibilities on a truly 
mass scale. 

In their January/March 1981 Library Resources & Technical Services 
article, Pam Darling and Sherelyn Ogden said, "A degree of skepticism, 
and even despair, was creeping into the literature by the late seventies as 
major breakthroughs in the mass treatment area continued not to take 
place." 18 Imagine my consternation when reference 44 in that article was 
my 1979 Library Journal article. Well, they were right, and I still tend to be 
skeptical about mass deacidification. But, in many ways, I am more opti- 
mistic today man I was two or three years ago because there has been 
considerable progress in at least a few related areas. More librarians have 

Mass Deacidification 69 

come to understand that mass deacidification can only be one small part of 
any preservation program, and won't solve all, or even most, of our 
problems, although it may help prevent future ones. 

Mass deacidification is not the fountain of youth we're seeking and 
can't ever be. Our future depends on the developing awareness of publish- 
ers, the economics of paper making, the development of information 
storage techniques such as optical disks, environment controls and com- 
plete preservation programs, which may, and probably will one day 
include mass deacidification. 


This paper has been written with information obtained in interviews with 
Peter Sparks, George Kelly, Dick Schoulberg, Jonathan Arney, Frazer Poole, 
Richard D. Smith, and Jan Pidek, who were very generous in cheerfully giving 
up-to-date analyses of the situation with each mass deacidification process. 


1. Smith, Richard D. "Progress of Mass Deacidification at the Public 
Archives." Canadian Library Journal 36(Dec. 1979):329. 

2. Gwinn, Nancy. "CLR and Preservation." College ir Research Libraries 
42(March 1981): 108. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Darling, Pamela W., and Ogden, Sherelyn. "From Problems Perceived to 
Programs in Practice." Library Resources b Technical Services 25(Jan./March 1981)9-29. 

5. Gwinn, "CLR and Preservation." 

6. Roberson, D.D. "Permanence/ Durability and Preservation Research at the Barrow 
Laboratory. " In Preservation of Paper and Textiles of Historic and Artistic Va lue II (Advan- 
ces in Chemistry Series, no 193), edited by John C. Williams, pp. 45-55. Washington, D.C.: 
American Chemical Society, 1981. 

7. Gwinn, "CLR and Preservation." 

8. "Book and Document Preservation Process." American Archivist 43(Winter 

9. Robert Goldsmith to Harris, personal communication, 22 April 1981. 

10. Roberson, "Permanence/Durability," p. 54. 

11. Gwinn, "CLR and Preservation," p. 109. 

12. Lijinsky, William. "N-Nitrosamines as Environmental Carcinogens." In 
N-Nitrosamines (American Chemical Society Symposium Series, no. 101), edited by Jean- 
Pierre Anselme, p. 107. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society, 1979. 

13. Smith, Richard D. "Design of a Liquified Gas Mass Deacidification System for 
Paper and Books." In Preservation of Paper and Textiles of Historic and Artistic Value 
(Advances in Chemistry 164), edited by John C.Williams, pp. 149-58. Washington, 
D.C.: American Chemical Society, 1977. 

14. Smith, "Progress in Mass Deacidification," p. 330. 

15. Kelly, George. "Nonaqueous Deacidification: Treatment En Masse and for the 
Small Workshop." In The Conservation of Library and Archive Materials and the Graphic 
Arts Abstracts and Preprints (1980 International Conference on the Conservation of Library 

70 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

and Archive Materials and the Graphic Arts). Cambridge, England: Society of Archivists and 
the Institute of Paper Conservation. 

16. Waters, Peter. "Archival Methods of Treatment for Library Documents." In Preser- 
vation of Paper and Textiles II, pp. 45-55. 

17. Boorstin, Daniel. "Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress, 1980." 
Library of Congress Information Bulletin 40(5 June 1981):200. 

18. Darling, and Ogden, "From Problems Perceived," p. 18. 


(Mass Deacidificadon, 1979-81) 


Darling, Pamela W., and Ogden, Sherelyn. "From Problems Perceived to Programs in 
Practice: The Preservation of Library Resources in the U.S.A., 1956-1980." Library 
Resources & Technical Services 25(Jan./ March 1981 ):9-29.( A general article on the history 
and status of preservation; contains brief information on the history and development of 
each of the three mass deacidification processes.) 

Vapor Phase Deacidification 

Campbell, Gregor R. "Take Action Protect Your Books from Acid Deterioration." Library 

Scene 8( March 1979):27. (Pro VPD article; tries to imply guilt in not using easily available 

deacidification agent.) 
Kavin, Mel. "The President Ponders: Deacidification Methods." Library Scene 10(Sept. 

1981 ):20. (Written in response to Werner Rebsamen's "Must All Library Materials be Acid 

Free?" Library Scene 10(March 1981 ); and letter to the editor, Library Scene 10(June 1981). 

Pro Vapor Phase Deacidification, feels health risks overstated.) 


Anselme, Jeane-Pierre. N-Nitrosamines (Symposium Series, no. 101). Washington, D.C.: 
American Chemical Society, 1979. (Technical information on the health hazards of 
amines, including morpholine in reaction with nitrite compounds.) 

"Book and Document Preservation Process." American Archivist 43(Winter 1980):98-99. 
(Announces use of morpholine process by Pacific Northwest Conservation Laboratory; 
discusses and dismisses health hazards.) 

Gwinn, Nancy. "CLR and Preservation." College 6- Research Libraries 12(March 1980): 
104-26. (Account of CLR's involvement with the Barrow laboratories; detailed 
information on the development of the morpholine process; does not include most 
up-to-date health information.) 

Roberson, D.D. "Permanence/Durability Research at the Barrow Laboratory." In 
Preservation of Paper and Textiles of Historic and Artistic Value II (Advances in 
Chemistry Series, no. 193), edited by John C. Williams, pp. 45-55. Washington, D.C.: 
American Chemical Society, 1981. (On the Barrow Laboratories; one paragraph on the 
morpholine process which misrepresents the Library of Congress' position.) 

Wei T'o 

Rebsamen, Werner. "A Genuine Break-through in Mass Deacidification." LBI Technology 

Newsletter vol. 1, March 1981. (Rehash of Smith articles; description of the process.) 
Smith, Richard D. "Mass Deacidification at the Public Archives of Canada." In The 
Conservation of Library and Archive Materials and the Graphic Arts Abstracts and Preprints, 

p. 131. Cambridge, England: International Conference on the Conservation 

of Library and Archive Materials and the Graphic Arts, 1980. (Brief description of 

the mechanics of the process.) 
"Progress in Mass Deacidification at the Public Archives of Canada." Canadian 

Library Journal 36(Dec. 1979):325-32. (Statement on why books should be deacidified; 

description of mechanics of the process and its development.) 

Mass Deacidification 71 

"Preservation: Library Need and Industry Opportunity, Part II." Library Scene 

9(March 1980):10-14. (A not so long version of the Canadian Library Journal article.) 
"Preserving Our Books; A Chemical Problem." ChemTech ll(July 

1981):414-17. (With a chemical slant.) 
Diethyl Zinc 
Kelly, George B. "Mass Deacidification with Diethyl Zinc." Library Scene 9(Sept. 1980):6-7. 

(Development and description of the process; includes recent improvements; thoughts on 

future developments.) 
. "Non-Aqueous Deacidification: Treatment En Masse and for the Small 

Workshop." In The Conservation of Library and Archive Materials, pp. 126-30. (Includes 

description of each process, but concentrates on diethyl zinc; includes criteria for mass 

deacidification systems.) 
Kelly, George B., and Williams, John C. "Inhibition of Light Sensitivity of Papers Treated 

with Diethyl Zinc." In Preservation of Paper and Textiles, pp. 109-17. (The problem of 

faster aging of treated paper under ultraviolet light in humid conditions; design of 

experiment, data and solutions.) 


James On (Hertzberg-New Method, Inc., Jacksonville, Illinois): Some 
time ago when General Electric (GE) had the deacidification program at 
their Germantown plant, there was a good deal of interest by a number of 
our customers in the East Coast area to get into a deacidification program. 
At that time we had some discussion with GE as to whether we could use 
their chamber. They were evaluating the program. At the same time, we 
were evaluating it knowing that probably we would handle a great deal of 
valuable and rare material. So before we progressed, we figured that it 
would be wise to protect ourselves from possible liability. So, we asked the 
various libraries that were interested in this if they would be willing to sign 
a release in the event (maybe not in my lifetime, but in time to come) that 
something would happen to that material as a result of the deacidification. 
And at that time there wasn't too much enthusiasm. This turned everybody 
off. Just about that time the people who manufactured the gas said it was 
too dangerous to transport so they discontinued the whole thing. We have 
been trying to follow this very closely as well as developments at the 
Library of Congress. 

There still seems to be quite a bit of interest in deacidification. This 
takes me back to my old question: I wonder how many people here, to 
embark on this program, would be willing to sign a release that even if 
something happened to the material in due time that they would be willing 
to go along on an experimental basis? That is my question. 

Carolyn Harris: I'm not sure that I would. Do you want a show of hands? 
(Editor's note: There was no response.) That may be your answer. That 
may be one of the problems with setting up a mass deacidification 


Associate Professor 

Graduate School of Library Science 

University of Hawaii 

Preservation of Paper Based Materials: 

Present and Future Research and 
Developments in the Paper Industry 


The essential nature of paper 1 has changed very little since its invention in 
China in A.D. 105. It consists of cellulose fibers suspended in water and 
formed into a matted sheet on screens. 

While handmade paper methods have changed little over the centu- 
ries, the modern machinemade paper is a very complex, and highly capital- 
intensive mix of craft, science and engineering. 

Cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer, that is a long chain-like 
molelcule made up of a large number of smaller (monomer) units. In the 
case of cellulose, the monomer units are anhydro-glucose molecules. The 
number of units in a cellulose molecule (known as the degree of polymeri- 
zation or DP) varies with the source and treatment of the material. Cotton 
and flax cellulose have approximately 7,000 to 12,000 units while cellulose 
derived from refined wood pulp which has been chemically separated from 
the lignin binder in wood and bleached have about 2000 to 3000 monomer 
units per cellulose molecule. 

Cellulose occurs in fibrous form. The fibers are made up of both 
regular, ordered crystalline regions and irregular, less dense amorphous 
regions. The flexibility and ability to absorb moisture derive from the 
amorphous regions. 

The beating of cellulose fibers in water develops microfibril fuzz on 
their surface which causes the fibers to stick together when the formed sheet 
of paper is dried. 

Paper made with only cellulose fiber acts like a blotter. It absorbs 
water readily, swelling in the process. Ink tends to feather on such paper. 
To overcome this, papermakers add a size to the paper in order to make it 


74 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

more resistant to fluids. The amount of size needed depends on the print- 
ing process. Offset printing, which is now the most widely used process for 
books, requires more than other printing methods. 

Filler materials or loadings are added to paper pulp to increase opacity 
and ink receptivity. Fillers such as clay, calcium carbonate, titanium 
dioxide, or other white pigments, while they keep the printing from 
showing through the other side, do nothing for the strength of the paper 
but in fact detract from it by interfering with fiber-to-fiber bonding. 
Printing and book papers are often coated with a composition containing 
a white pigment and an adhesive such as starch or casein in order to 
improve brightness, surface smoothness, and printing quality. Colors and 
a wide range of other additives are often added for special purposes. 

A Brief Historical Overview 

From the beginning, sources of good quality cellulose were inade- 
quate to the demand. The search for cheaper and more plentiful sources is 
one of the continuing themes in the history of papermaking. 2 In early days, 
clean white cotton and linen rags were the principal source of cellulose. 

The machines such as the hollander, developed to speed the pulping 
process, replaced beating with grinding action with a resulting shortening 
of the fibers produced. 

The discovery of chlorine by Scheele in 1 774 and the recognition of its 
bleaching properties allowed colored and dirty rags to be used in addition 
to clean white ones. Unfortunately, the bleaching process degrades the 

Early papermakers sized their paper by dipping the paper in dilute 
solution of gelatin. The introduction of alum-rosin size and its rapid 
adoption by almost all papermakers was the next major setback to paper 
quality. In 1 807 Moritz Friedrick Illig found that rosin soap could be added 
to the beaten fiber suspension and precipitated by adding alum. The paper 
made from this mixture became sized in the same step as the sheet forma- 
tion and only required drying, thus eliminating an extra dipping and 
drying step. From the point of view of the paper manufacturer this was a 
marvelous advance and alum has been considered the papermaker's cure- 
all up to the present. From the librarian/archivist's and conservator's 
perspective this was the greatest in a series of calamities to befall on the 
process of papermaking. 

The quest for other sources of cellulose led to the discovery that wood 
cellulose could be used to produce acceptable paper. Wood cellulose fiber 
is bonded together by lignin. When wood is ground mechanically to 
produce paper, the lignin and other wood byproducts such as hemicellu- 

Research and Developments in the Paper Industry 75 

loses are left in the finished product. The result is a low-grade, relatively 
weak and chemically unstable paper such as dial used in newsprint. 

Processes were developed during the nineteenth and twentieth centu- 
ries to treat wood pulp chemically to remove lignin and other impurities. 
These treatments are harsh and degrade the cellulose fiber in the process; 
however, bleached chemical pulps are stronger and more stable than paper 
made from ground wood (mechanical) pulp or from semichemical pulps, 
though not as strong as rag fibers. 

Paper permanence began to decline sharply at about the time wood 
pulp was displacing rags as the main source of fiber. This has caused many 
people to think that high-quality, permanent paper can only be made from 
rags and that paper made from rags is necessarily better than that made 
from wood pulp. This has been shown not to be the case. In fact, it has been 
determined dial the major cause for the decline in permanence was the 
introduction of alum, which just happened more or less to coincide with 
the transition to wood fibers. 

While the chemical pulping and bleaching of wood fibers is certainly 
responsible for a decrease in the polymer chain length and a lower strength 
in the paper, the decrease with time of whatever strength the paper had 
when new is less attributed to these treatments and can be explained 
primarily by two synergistic chemical processes which attack the paper 
over time acid catalyzed hydrolysis of the cellulose polymer linking 
bond, and oxidation. There are, in addition to these, a host of other 
degradation processes to which paper is susceptible. 

Causes of Paper Degradation and Current Research 

William K. Wilson and E.J. Parks in a detailed examination of aging 
of paper list the following reactions which might occur during the natural 
aging of paper: 

(a) hydrolysis; 

(b) oxidation; 

(c) crosslinking; 

(d) changes in order, or crystallinity, due to changes in moisture 

(e) photolysis; 

(f) photosensitization; 

(g) photo-oxidation. 3 

The study of the chemical reactions in paper is difficult. One can measure 
changes in physical properties, but attributing these effects to specific 
reactions is not something that can always be done with a high degree of 
certainty. More than one reaction is likely to be occurring and these often 

76 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Accelerated Aging Methods 

The processes which degrade paper are relatively slow at room 
temperature. Even poor-quality paper will last for twenty-five years. Rais- 
ing the temperature increases the rate of these processes so they can be 
conveniently studied in the laboratory in a reasonable time period. Special 
aging ovens with very good temperature and humidity controls are 
employed. The practical range of temperatures which can be used to give 
measurable rates of degradation is from about 70 to 100C. After aging, 
loss of strength is commonly determined by use of standard tests. The most 
commonly used is the TAPPI MIT Folding Endurance Test. A 1.5 cm.- 
wide strip of paper under 1 kilogram (or, in some laboratories, 0.5 kilo- 
gram) of tension is folded repeatedly through an angle of 270 until it 
breaks. The required number of folds is taken as a measure of the paper's 
strength. By measuring the degradation of samples of a paper over the 
70-100 range it is possible to extrapolate to room temperature to predict 
the useful life of the paper under normal storage conditions. These tests 
show that seventy-two hours at 100C is equivalent to about twenty-five 
years at room temperature. Other tests that are frequently used measure 
tensile strength and extensibility, tearing strength, and light reflectance. 

The accelerated aging approach has been used for several years and 
much of the research on longevity of paper is based on such experiments. 
Comparisons with long-term aging experiments has shown it to be a viable 
method of studying paper aging. 4 


Cellulose is fairly stable in neutral and alkaline media but is readily 
hydrolyzed in acid, the rate increasing with hydrogen ion activity (decreas- 
ing pH). This acid catalyzed hydrolysis results in cleavage of the monomer 
to monomer bond, thus fragmenting the polymer chain and weakening the 
paper. The presence of oxidized groups in the cellulose causes it to be more 
readily hydrolyzed. Acid hydrolysis takes place in the amorphous regions 
of the cellulose fiber. The cellulose chains, once broken, tend to crystallize 
making them more brittle. The fibers are weakened but the fiber-to-fiber 
bond is affected less seriously. New paper tears by pulling apart the 
fiber-to-fiber bonds giving a fuzzy tear; aged, degraded paper tears by 
fracture of the fibers giving a clean tear. 

The principal source of acid in book paper is alum. Up until very 
recently almost all book papers contained alum rosin size and much of this 
paper has a pH of 4.5 or less. Such paper has a useful life of twenty-five to 
fifty years. Another important source of acid is pollutants in the air, 
particularly sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen. The presence of trace 
metals (iron, copper, manganese) in the paper play a role in this by 

Research and Developments in the Paper Industry 77 

catalyzing the oxidation of sulfur dioxide to sulfur trioxide which, with 
water, produces sulfuric acid. 

Chlorinated compounds such as residues from chlorine bleaches can 
generate hydrochloric acid. 

Some of the products of paper oxidation are acidic. 

Deacidification is becoming a well-established practice though 
research continues. Researchers at the National Archives are studying 
liquid phase deacidification with methyl magnesium carbonate looking at 
ways to improve this process. Research at the Library of Congress on gas 
phase deacidification with diethyl zinc is progressing to final pilot testing 
in a 5000 book per charge chamber. There is reason to expect this method 
will move soon from research to practical implementation. 


Cellulose and especially other organic constituents of paper are sus- 
ceptible to slow reaction with atmospheric oxygen. The reaction produces 
peroxides which decompose and promote further oxidation. The oxida- 
tion is catalyzed by metal ions such as copper, cobalt, manganese and iron, 
and ozone in polluted air acts as a strong oxidizing agent. Copper sulfate is 
sometimes used as a slimicide. It should not be used in the manufacture of 
permanent paper. Hypochlorite and chlorine bleaches leave the cellulose 
more susceptible to oxidation. 

The relative importance of hydrolysis and oxidation to the degrada- 
tion of paper varies with the kind of paper and environmental conditions, 
but both are important. For alkaline papers oxidation is the major mode of 

One of the criticisms of some of the accelerated aging tests is that it is a 
gross measure which doesn't provide information about how the paper is 
degrading. Some recent work at Carnegie-Mellon Institute Research 5 has 
addressed the question of the relative importance of oxygen-dependent and 
oxygen-independent deterioration. The relative importance of these two 
processes was found to depend on the moisture content, the type of paper, 
the temperature, and the physical property monitored. They found that 
oxygen -dependent deterioration is more important for newsprint than for 
rag paper. Yellowing was caused primarily by oxidation; tensile strength 
loss was caused primarily by oxygen-independent reactions. In all cases, 
both processes contribute significantly to the deterioration. 

The atmospheric oxidation process was found to be inhibited by a 
decrease in acidity. This means that alkaline paper will not only prevent 
hydrolysis, but will offer some protection against oxidation as well. 

78 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Chemiluminescence Studies 

Some recent research conducted at Battelle Columbus Laboratories 6 
used the very weak chemiluminescence (light produced as a result of a 
chemical reaction at environmental temperatures) accompanying the deg- 
radation of paper. The author introduced this technique to Battelle when 
he worked there as a research chemist in the late 1960s. The light emission 
which accompanies the degradation of a wide range of organic materials is, 
where the detailed mechanism has been determined, associated with the 
oxidation of the materials. It seems reasonable to assume that the chemi- 
luminescence observed from paper is due to oxidative degradation but this 
has not been determined. 

Though there have been some long-term studies which support the 
validity of accelerated aging methods, there have been some concerns about 
extrapolating results at elevated temperatures to room temperature. The 
chemiluminescence method, because of its extreme sensitivity, permitted 
measurements down to room temperature. Temperature dependence 
results for the chemiluminescence experiments were in agreement with 
accelerated aging experiments in the 70-100C range done with the same 
papers at the Library of Congress. These results thus give support to 
conclusions drawn from accelerated aging experiments. 

In addition to looking at effects of temperature, samples of paper were 
cycled between moist and dry atmospheres. This produced a striking 
increase in light emission when the humidity was changed. This suggests, 
as has long been supposed, that fluctuating humidity is detrimental to 

Effects of Reducing Agents 

Partial oxidation of paper makes it more readily hydrolyzed. 
Researchers at the Library of Congress 7 have studied the use of sodium 
borohydride to reduce the oxidized functional groups. It was found that 
such treatment improved brightness of paper as well as brightness reten- 
tion, in addition to increasing folding endurance. Sodium borohydride has 
been found to be an effective addition to alkaline pulping liquors but is too 
expensive to be used in the quantities required to make it effective. 8 

Changes in Crystallinity 

As mentioned earlier, cellulose consists of crystalline regions charac- 
terized by regular order and disordered amorphous regions, the latter being 
responsible for the ability to absorb moisture and for flexibility of the 
fibers. Some recent research at the Institute for Paper Chemistry 9 suggests 
that crystallization processes may be an important factor in aging of 
cellulose fibers. 

Research and Developments in the Paper Industry 79 

Heating sample pulp to 170 for two hours, a treatment similar to 
what pulp experiences in a typical pulping process, showed a deterioration 
in all papermaking properties. The degree of crystallinity was measured 
using X-ray diffraction methods. The treated pulp showed a significant 
increase in crystallinity. Tensile strength decreased by 20 percent, burst by 
30 percent and tear strength by 45 percent. Water retention characteristics 
declined to 60 percent of original values. All of the changes reflect an 
increase in crystallinity. The small degree of chemical degradation result- 
ing from the treatment was not sufficient to account for the observed 

Elevated temperatures enhance molecular mobility and accelerate the 
ordering process. The presence of water was also found to promote the 
crystallization process. 

The degree of polymerization of the cellulose was also found to be 
important. Ordering increased with decrease in molecular weight or 
degree of polymerization. Samples with a degree of polymerization (DP) 
greater than 1000 were unaffected by exposure to water at room tempera- 
ture while samples with a DP less than 100 crystallized on exposure to the 
moisture content in the laboratory atmosphere. 

These findings have several implications for conservation. Chain 
scission due to acid hydrolysis causes a reduction in the degree of polymeri- 
zation giving not only an inherent reduction in the tensile strength of the 
fibers but also enhanced opportunities for crystallization with resulting 

The effect of the ordering process must be considered in the interpreta- 
tion of accelerated aging results. The temperature dependence of ordering 
and of the chemical degradation processes may well be quite different. The 
amount of moisture in these tests will very likely influence the rate of each 
of the processes differently. 

Photochemical Deterioration 

Light, particularly light in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum, is 
damaging to paper. Pure cellulose is very resistant to photochemical 
attack, but many of the impurities in paper, especially lignin, are sensitive 
to light. Lignin in groundwood paper, such as newsprint, yellows very 
rapidly on exposure to sunlight primarily due to photochemical oxida- 
tion. Rosin size, the presence of metal ions, and chemical bleaching all 
contribute to increased photochemical attack on paper. A variety of reac- 
tions are caused by the absorption of light, including oxidation. Depend- 
ing on the paper and other conditions, paper may yellow and darken or 
bleach when irradiated. Some of the products of photochemical attack 
(primarily peroxides) are themselves thermally and photochemically 
unstable, causing further degradation. 

80 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

It has been found that the introduction of small amounts of iodide in 
the form of hydrogen iodide gas may afford protection against oxidation. 10 
This has prompted researchers at the Library of Congress to consider the 
possibility of introducing antioxidants into paper by gas phase 


Hydrolysis, oxidation and reactions of the products of these processes, 
plus reactions of a variety of functional groups in cellulose and other 
ingredients in paper cause crosslinking (the bonding of separate cellulose 
molecules at various points on the chains). A degree of crosslinking 
improves paper strength, but too much results in embrittlement. 

Current Developments in the Paper Industry 

The major development today in the paper industry is a trend to 
alkaline paper. The Library of Congress has been monitoring the pH of 
books coming into its collection and finds that about 25 percent of the 
American books and about 50 percent of the European books are made of 
alkaline paper. Five years ago less than 1 percent of the books tested were 
made with alkaline paper. 11 

Alkaline paper is paper made in a neutral or slightly alkaline system 
and contains calcium carbonate as a filler. The calcium carbonate acts as a 
buffer, neutralizing any acid which may develop in the paper over time. 
Alum-rosin size is not compatible with alkaline papermaking. Since the 
1950s with the introduction by Hercules Corporation of a synthetic alka- 
line sizing material, Aquapel, it has been possible to size alkaline papers in 
the machine. There are now several alkaline sizes available. 

The Europeans have been leading in the move to alkaline paper, 
because calcium carbonate is less expensive in Europe and because energy 
and fiber costs are significantly higher. The alkaline process provides cost 
savings in these areas. Several American companies are currently produc- 
ing alkaline paper and the number is growing as the industry learns to 
operate with the new processes and as its many advantages are recognized. 

The reasons for this trend are economic. Paper consumption is conser- 
vatively expected to double in the next twenty-five years. During this 
period fiber and energy are expected to double in real cost and the cost of 
water is expected to triple. 12 

Alkaline papermaking offers a potential savings in all of these areas 
plus a number of other advantages. 1 

A stronger paper is produced permitting savings through weight reduc- 
tion, increased filler content, the use of weaker, less-expensive fibers or the 
elimination of dry strength resins. 

Research and Developments in the Paper Industry 81 

Waste water and byproducts can be recycled, reducing pollution control 

cost and conserving resources. 

Calcium carbonate is already widely used as a pigment in paper coating. 

The alkaline process allows easy recycling of such papers. 

The machinery lasts longer. The acid process is corrosive, and recycling 

waste water in this process increases the corrosion problem and causes 

scaling problems. An alkaline papermaking environment is noncorrosive, 

extending machine life and reducing maintenance costs. With a single 

paper machine costing upward of $50 million, this can be significant. 

A higher brightness is achieved. Calcium carbonate, in addition to its 

acting as a buffer, is a pigment with high brightness. 

Calcium carbonate is cheaper than the titanium dioxide it replaces. 

The waste water is at about pH7 so neutralization of effluent discharge is 

not required. 

Energy may be conserved in three areas drying, refining, and in some 

cases process waste water temperature control. Alkaline paper has been 

found to drain faster, thereby reducing drying costs. The improved 

strength of the paper can permit a reduction in refining with a subsequent 

energy savings. 

Some mills maintain high stock temperatures. One mill, on changing 
from acid to alkaline papermaking was able to reduce its effluent discharge 
from 14,000 gal./ ton to 5,000 gal./ ton. The energy savings in not having to 
heat 9,000 gal./ ton to 150C amounted to more than $10/ton. 14 
Alkaline paper recycles better, giving a stronger recycled product. 15 
No capital expenditure is required to convert. The same machinery is 
used in both acid and neutral or alkaline papermaking. 
Productivity is increased as a result of reduced down time of machinery 
due to maintenance problems or periodic cleaning. The alkaline process is 
The product resists aging. 

Not all of the above advantages are likely to be realized in any individ- 
ual mill. The particular benefits gained will vary, depending on local 
conditions, the grades of paper being produced, and other factors. An 
example cited in the literature 16 showed a savings of $42/ton in primary 
raw materials and a savings in reduced water consumption of $15/ton, 
giving a $57/ton savings (10 percent of the cost of the finished product). 

The lasting quality of the paper carries little or no weight with the 
producers. They are in general convinced that permanence will not sell 

Barrow, working with chemical and paper companies, showed many 
years ago that permanent/durable paper could be produced commercially 
from wood pulp. Alkaline sizes have been available for more than twenty 
years. Librarians, archivists, and publishers must take some of the blame 

82 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

for not forcing the industry to provide permanent/durable alkaline paper 
and for not using it when it was available. To put things in perspective, 
however, it should be remembered that only about 15 percent of the total 
paper production is for printing purposes, 17 and only a little more than 1 
percent is book publishing paper. 18 Fortunately, the economics of the 
process are sufficient to prompt many of the producers to switch to alkaline 
paper production and the problem of rapid decay of paper may be solved by 
default in the course of the next twenty-five years or so. 

There are some problems to be overcome in making the transition to 
alkaline paper. The conversion itself is expensive, requiring retraining of 
workers, cleaning of equipment, and a completely new set of additives 
(dyestuffs, starches, defoamers, retention aids) need to be introduced. Paper 
which contains lignin (groundwood paper) has problems the pulp is 
sticky and brownish in color and the resulting paper is reduced in bright- 
ness. By making the proper adjustments however, groundwood paper can 
be made with neutral or alkaline size and calcium carbonate filler. This is 
being done increasingly in Europe. The sticking problem (press sticking) 
is present, though to a lesser extent, even using pulp free of lignin. Release 
agents are added to counteract this. The feel of the paper may be different. 

Though alkaline paper seems to be well established, there is still 
research to be done to improve the process, and since most companies are 
fairly new to the process there is promise for measurable improvement as 
they learn more about it. Overall the advantages outweigh the problems 
and those producers who have switched say they would not change back. 

Converting to alkaline paper is sufficiently costly and disruptive that 
it requires a total commitment at all levels from the top management down 
to assure success. It is a complex and expensive transition, but one that 
pays dividends in the long run. 

One economic pressure working against high-quality alkaline paper 
is the cost of wood and the desire to get maximum yield from the wood 
used. Groundwood gives about a 90-95 percent yield, compared to a 40-50 
percent yield for good -quality paper. Thus there are economic pressures to 
use groundwood paper. A newer method, Thermo-Mechanical Pulping, is 
growing rapidly. 19 It requires more power, but its yield is as high as regular 
stone groundwood and the paper is strong enough to be used alone. 
(Groundwood pulp is generally blended with higher quality chemical 
pulp for added strength.) Thermo-Mechanical Pulp, like groundwood, 
contains the lignin and other materials from the wood which contribute to 
its poor lasting qualities. For certain types of publications the situation 
will probably get worse even though alkaline paper is becoming more 
available. This is seen in Europe where many magazines, brochures, and 
ephemera are being printed on groundwood paper. Groundwood paper is 
being used increasingly in textbooks and some reference books. These 

Research and Developments in the Paper Industry 83 

papers are almost always coated, which significantly increases their lon- 
gevity although they cannot be called archival. A groundwood paper 
which uncoated might last twenty-five years will, if coated, still be handle- 
able after fifty and perhaps up to seventy-five or one hundred years. 20 

Another trend in papermaking is the increasing use of hardwoods. 21 
Hardwoods are more plentiful and are cheaper than softwood. Paper from 
hardwoods generally gives better printing quality, but is weaker. 


The problem of paper oxidation has received less attention, and less 
effort is being expended in the industry to deal with it. As with acidity, the 
concern in the industry is not with paper longevity but with other factors 
such as brightness and reduced yellowing. Some efforts are being made to 
reduce metal ion levels in paper. As noted above, these catalyze paper 
oxidation and the oxidation of sulfur dioxide to sulfur trioxide. 


Bleaching of pulp is another area of change and exploration. 22 The 
effluents from bleaching plants are a major problem. Environmental 
pollution controls together with other changes in paper technology are 
causing paper companies to look for better methods of bleaching. Histori- 
cally, chlorine, calcium hypochlorite, and chlorine dioxide have been 
popular bleaching agents. Oxygen bleaching was introduced on a com- 
mercial scale in 1970. Oxygen bleaching allows for simpler pollution 
control methods, but the bleaching is not as effective. 

Some experimentation with ozone as a bleaching agent has been done. 
New bleaches and new methods will very likely be introduced in the future. 
The implication for permanence and durability are not clear at this point. 
Whatever changes are made will no doubt be made for reasons other than 
the effects on paper longevity. 

Standards for Permanent/Durable Paper 

Though librarians and archivists can claim little credit for the move to 
alkaline papermaking they should be able to exert influence in the use of 
this paper for the books and other paper materials that they collect. 

Requirements for permanence and durability should be included in 
specifications for items being purchased. There are established standards 
which can be referenced in purchase orders, and to which paper manufac- 
turers can look to for guidance. To be informed customers, purchasers 
should be familiar with the appropriate standards. 

84 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards of 


interest are: 

D3290 Bond and Ledger Papers for Permanent Records 

D3458-75 Copies from Office Copying Machines for Permanent Records 

D3301-74 File Folders for Storage of Permanent Records 

D3208-76 Manifold Papers for Permanent Records 

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission provides 

standards for paper, printing and binding. 24 Barrow Research Laboratory 

published specifications for permanent/durable paper. 25 

Current activities in this area include the work of the Committee on 
Production Guidelines for Book Longevity which operates as part of the 
Council on Library Resources. This group, made up of representatives 
from publishing, paper manufacturing, and library preservation pro- 
grams, has recently issued an "Interim Report on Book Paper." 26 The 
report offers guidelines on paper which are adapted and simplified from 
the standards set by the National Historical Publications and Records 
Commission, the Library of Congress, and the ASTM/ANSI Standard 
Specification for Bond and Ledger Papers for Permanent Records. The 
report also addresses the question of what types of publications should be 
printed on such paper and what categories might be considered lower 
priority with respect to permanence. Some commercial sources of acid-free 
paper are listed. 

Other collective efforts toward creating a conservation-conscious and 
informed consumer include the activities of the Association of Research 
Libraries, Preservation Committee and Office of Management Studies; the 
Preservation of Library Materials Section of the American Library Associa- 
tion's Resources and Technical Services Division; the Study Committee on 
Libraries and Archives of the National Conservation Advisory Council; 
the Society of American Archivists; and the American Association for State 
and Local History. 


While we still have much to learn, and there is room for further 
progress, it is not only possible, but it is in the papermaker's own economic 
interests to produce permanent/ durable paper. Such paper can reasonably 
be expected to last several hundred years instead of the twenty-five to fifty 
years for modern acidic book paper. There is thus no excuse for producing 
books and other publications of lasting importance on anything other 
than paper meeting existing standards for permanence and durability. 
There is reason to hope that this will finally happen. It is up to every 

Research and Developments in the Paper Industry 85 

librarian, publisher and paper consumer to insist that it does and to use 
whatever influence we have to speed this process. 


1. Browning, B.L. "The Nature of Paper." In Deterioration and Preservation of Li- 
brary Materials, edited by Howard W. Winger and Richard D. Smith, pp. 18-38. Chicago: The 
University of Chicago Press. Also published in Library Quarterly 40(Jan. 1970):18-38; Suter- 
meister, Edwin. The Story of Papermaking. Boston: S.D. Warren Co., 1954; Bolam, Francis, 
ed. Paper Making. London: Technical Section of the British Paper and Board Makers' 
Association (Inc.), 1965; and Casey, James P., ed. Pulp and Paper: Chemistry and Chemical 
Technology, 3d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1981. 

2. For a historical review see Williams, John C. "A Review of Paper Quality and Paper 
Chemistry." Library Trends 30(Fall 1981):203-24; see especially pp. 205-06. 

3. Wilson, William K., and Parks, E.J. "An Analysis of the Aging of Paper: Possible 
Reactions and Their Effects on Measurable Properties." Restaurator 3(1979):37-61. 

4. . "Comparison of Accelerated Aging of Book Papers in 1937 with 36 

Years Natural Aging." Restaurator 4(1980): 1-55. 

5. Arney, J.S., and Jacobs, A.J. "Accelerated Aging of Paper, the Relative Importance of 

Atmospheric Oxidation." TAPPI 62(July 1979):89-91; and . "Newsprint 

Deterioration The Influence of Temperature on the Relative Contribution of Oxygen- 
Independent and Oxygen-Dependent Processes in the Total Rate." T/*PP/63(Jan. 1980):75- 

6. Kelly, G.B., et al. "The Use of Chemiluminescence in the Study of Paper 
Permanence." In Durability of Macromolecular Materials (American Chemical Society Sym- 
posium Series, no. 95). Washington, D.C.: ACS, 1979, pp. 117-25. 

7. Tang, Lucia C., and Troyer, Margaret A. "Adding Stability to Alkaline Papers." 
Proceedings of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (1981 Papermakers 
Conference). Atlanta: TAPPI, 1981, pp. 77-84. 

8. Casey, Pulp and Paper, p. 485. 

9. Atalla, Rajai H. "The Crystallinity of Cellulosic Fibers." In Preservation of Paper 
and Textiles of Historic and Artistic Value II (Advances in Chemistry Series, no. 193), edited 
by John C. Williams, pp. 169-76. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society, 1981. 

10. Kelly, G.B., Jr., and Williams, John C. "Inhibition of Light Sensitivity of Papers 
Treated with Diethyl Zinc." In Preservation of Paper, pp. 241-49. 

11. Kelly to Lundeen, personal interview, Washington, D.C., 28 Oct. 1981. 

12. Hagemeyer, R.W. "The Impact of Increasing paper Consumption and Resource 
Limitations on Alkaline Papermaking." In Preservation of Paper, pp. 241-49. 

13. Thomas, Joseph. "Alkaline Printing Papers: Promise and Performance." In 
Deterioration and Preservation, pp. 99-107; Dumas, David H. "Recent Progress in Alkaline 
Sizing." Proceedings of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (1981 
Papermakers Conference), pp. 41-47; and Williams, "A Review of Paper Quality." 

14. Thomas, "Alkaline Printing Papers." 

15. Williams, John C. "Retaining the Strength of Secondary Fibers with Alkaline Cal- 
cium Carbonate Fillers." Paper Trade Journal, 30(Nov. 1980):33-34; and McComb, Robert E., 
and Williams, John C. "The Value of Alkaline Papers for Recycling." In Proceedings of the 
Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (1981 Papermakers Conference), pp. 

16. Hagemeyer, "The Impact of Increasing Paper." 

17. Evanoff, Philip C. to Lundeen, personal communication, 14 Nov. 1981. 

18. The Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity. "Interim Report on 
Book Paper," April 1981. 

19. Evanoff to Lundeen, personal communication. 

86 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

20. Evanoff, Philip C. "Trends in Paper Making Affecting Permanence." Chillicolhe, 
Ohio: Mead Papers, n.p. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Casey, Pulp and Paper, p. 633. 

23. American Society for Testing and Materials. 1979 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, 
Part 20, Paper: Packaging: Business Copy Products. Philadelphia: ASTM, 1979. 

24. U.S. National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Washington, D.C.: 
National Archives. 

25. Barrow Laboratory. Technical Notes. "Barrow Laboratory Research." American 
Archivist 38(July 1975):406-16. 

26. Casey, Pulp and Paper. 


Philip A. Metzger (School of Medicine, Southern Illinois University at 
Carbondale): I was interested in your figure of 25 to 50 percent of the new 
books being on alkaline paper. With the introduction of mass deacidifica- 
tion does that mean that essentially 25 to 50 percent of the books that might 
be mass-deacidified might not really need it? 

Gerald Lundeen: The books that are being considered for mass deacidifica- 
tion are books that have been in the collection for some time. The only ones 
that are found to be on alkaline paper are the ones that have been coming 
into the collection within the last five years, but mostly within the last one 
or two years. 

Metzger: But aren't those really the prime candidates for mass deacidifica- 
tion before they degrade? 

Lundeen: It has been suggested that books that are printed on alkaline 
paper ought to be so identified. The publisher ought to make a statement 
in the book saying, "This book is made from paper meeting such and such 
standards." That way we won't unnecessarily treat these books, as you 
point out. Along with that question, identifying books for deacidification 
or treatment that are not so identified by a statement from the publisher 
requires testing the paper with pH detectors. The problem of identifying 
books that may require treatment because of acidity (if the books are not 
identified by the publisher as being printed on permanent durable paper) 
forces us to use a chemical test of some sort to see whether it's acidic or 
basic. You can have acidic paper that is coated with calcium carbonate, 
and, if you use the wrong sorts of tests, it will test basic even though the core 
of the paper is acidic. And so that's something you've got to be careful 
about. That's one of the reasons for recommending that publishers provide 
this information in books that they have printed on permanent paper. 

D.W. Krummel (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): I think one of your state- 

Research and Developments in the Paper Industry 87 

ments does need qualification. The library profession Verner Clapp in 
particular has been calling for an improvement of that situation. Library 
publications directed toward permanent library collections (e.g., the 
imprints of G.K. Hall and Scarecrow, in particular) conspicuously men- 
tion the quality of the paper. We've had less success in working with the 
publishers who are not directed primarily toward library markets. But 
since the late 1950s I think we have had a significant impact. I think that 
should be made a part of the record, but I'm not sure what impact, if any, 
we've had on the new machinery which has been developed that dramati- 
cally changed the character of paper. 

Lundeen: That's a good point. I didn't mean to slight that, and when I said 
we couldn't claim much credit for the transition to alkaline paper, it's not 
from lack of trying. As Don [Krummel] suggested, we've been calling for a 
transition for a long time but economics are what, for the most part, carry 
the weight with the papermakers. There are some exceptions in terms of 
papermakers, too. S.D. Warren has been making alkaline paper for many 
years (since the late 1950s). Recognizing that permanence is important, few 
other paper companies have been doing this as well but the majority of the 
papermakers are convinced only by dollars. 

Charles Davis (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): I was wondering about the 
effects of low temperature. Has anybody extrapolated with enough confi- 
dence to assert that we should move our archives to Greenland? 

Lundeen: I'm not sure if I'm remembering my numbers right but I think 
the suggestion has been made that if we reduce the temperature by 25 
degrees Celsius below room temperature, paper that normally would last 
on the order of 50 years or so is extended to 4000 years. And by going 
another 25 degrees lower, you get another 40,000 years or thereabouts. 
Some measurements were done on paper from the expedition of Scott, who 
froze to death at the South Pole. His materials were left there. Notebooks 
from that expedition were retrieved sometime in the late 1950s and this 
paper has been examined and compared to essentially the same kind of 
paper to see what the effect was of this prolonged storage in Antarctica. 
The effects are not nearly as dramatic as was expected based on those 
projections. There was a stabilizing effect due to the low temperatures but 
it wasn't nearly as much as we would have expected based on the extrapola- 
tions that people have been making. 

Larry Hall (Alma College, Alma, Michigan): You made a few references to 
variations of humidity and their effect on paper longevity. Could you 
speak to that further? 

88 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Lundeen: This is a question which is still up in the air. The accelerated 
aging tests have been done in essentially two different modes, one with dry 
air with essentially zero humidity. People have criticized that as being 
unrealistic because you don't store books in dry air. The other series of tests 
have been done in 50 percent humidity and these, likewise, have been 
criticized because that's perhaps a bit high although maybe not that far off, 
depending on where you live. In Hawaii that's a little bit low. Measure- 
ments comparing the accelerated aging tests with long-term tests seem to 
indicate that really some place in between is probably the best condition, 
but where in between hasn't been decided yet maybe 10 to 20 percent 
humidity for the accelerated aging tests. There are some fairly well 
accepted guidelines for storage under normal temperatures and relative 
humidities, and there, around 50 percent or so is accepted. A more crucial 
problem may be fluctuations in humidity which cause paper to be stressed 
by absorption and desorption of moisture. 


Head Curatorial Section 

Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division 
Library of Congress 

Preservation of Nonpaper Materials 

Present and Future Research and 

Development in the Preservation of Film, 

Sound Recordings, Tapes, Computer Records, 

and Other Nonpaper Materials 

When asked earlier this year by Erik Barnouw, the man who was origi- 
nally to have given this paper, if I would allow my name to be suggested as 
a possible alternate since he would be unable to be here, I said yes. After 
spending some six months of work and thought on the subject, I fear that if 
I were asked the same question today that my answer would be a polite, but 
firm, no. The reason for my change of attitude is not that I feel the topic is 
unworthy. To the contrary, I feel it is of major importance to all libraries 
and archives of which I am aware. Nor is my present feeling on the subject 
due to an unwillingness to be involved in the work, since it is a substantial 
part of my present position, and is one of the aspects of the job which I find 
both particularly enjoyable and rewarding. Rather, my reservations on the 
topic are due to the especially broad scope of my topic and the time 
limitations which have had to be imposed on delivery of this paper. To 
give a reasonably thorough report on the present research and develop- 
ment of the preservation of any single format with which we as librarians 
must work would barely be possible in this one session. To broaden the 
scope to anticipate future research and development severely compounds 
the assignment. To do so for all nonpaper materials is truly impossible. 
To compound my reservation I looked at the schedule and agenda of 
the institute. Of the twelve papers to be given, only this one specifically 
deals with nonpaper materials. Before allowing myself to become even 
more paranoid, I stopped and reviewed the position that nonpaper mate- 
rials actually hold in libraries and to realize just how long they have been 
there. Until the last decade of the nineteenth century the only nonpaper in 
virtually all libraries was that associated with books or as furnishing for a 
library: the wood, leather, and metal of bindings; animal skins used before 


90 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

or as a substitute for paper; the wax used in seals and in color pigments; 
marble in statuary; etc. In fact, it was not until 1945 or later that most 
commonly accepted nonpaper formats were considered anything other 
than throwaways allowed into the library world in the United States. Also, 
I had to remind myself that I, too, am a paper based, book trained musicol- 
ogist and librarian and that I held to that training and bias until taking a 
position in 1966 as sound recordings' librarian at the Sibley Musical 
Library of the Eastman School of Music. 

Nonpaper materials are still considered by many some might say 
most of my traditionally trained colleagues as "nonlibrary" materials. 
Until very recent years the Oral History Project of Columbia University, 
the prototype for many such programs in this country, used sound record- 
ings only as a means to simplify the collection of data. These recordings 
were then transcribed and collected into typescripts, whereupon the sound 
recordings were either erased to be used for another project or were 

Until 1877, civilization did not have the ability to record and playback 
sound. The camera was not invented until 1840. Though sound recordings 
were present in libraries as early as the turn of this century, it was not until 
1958 that a generally accessible archival collection of sound recordings was 
established in a U.S. library. (Note: There were classroom collections in 
colleges and universities, as well as a fairly extensive collection of commer- 
cial classical music recordings and field recordings of ethnic materials 
available at the Library of Congress, but access to them generally required 
either special affiliation or advance notification of interest and special 
arrangements for playback.) Even though moving pictures were accepted 
as copyrightable items as early as 1897, they could come in only as "paper 
prints" (or photographs) and not as film. The Museum of Modern Art 
(MOMA), New York, established its film library in 1935, proclaiming 
motion pictures as worthy of research and scholarship, though primarily 
for their content as "art." As an archival medium, the motion picture was 
not generally accepted and collected until after World War II. Prints and 
photographs fared little better, even though there was an established 
collection at the Library of Congress as early as 1897. With the exception of 
a few areas, like census records, public opinion surveys, and bibliographic 
data, the collecting and storing of computer records as primary research 
data is still in its infancy. 

As late as 1950, nonpaper materials pictures, audio, machine data 
represented less that 10 percent of the 28,691,350 items in the total collec- 
tions of the Library of Congress. By 1980 this had grown to more than 20 
percent of a collection of 76,945,360 items. Thus, during an acknowledged 
period of information explosion a phrase generally used by librarians to 
mean an increase of paper based materials the nonpaper collections of 

Preservation of Nonpaper Materials 91 

the national library dramatically increased by a factor of 5.4 while paper 
collections were increasing by a factor of 2.4; put another way, nonpaper 
materials increased by twice as much as paper materials during this vital 
period for libraries. Preliminary information from a broad range of librar- 
ies indicated that they, too, have experienced similar collection growth 
during this period. 

The assigned title for this paper specified the media to be covered as 
film, sound recordings, tapes, computer records, and, in the event that 
something has been left out, other nonpaper materials. My approach will 
be slightly different, grouping the media as pictures (moving and still, 
regardless of their form or base material), audio, machine data, and a 
broad, miscellaneous "other." This "other" category will include mate- 
rials that I assume generally would be included in the consideration of the 
preservation of unusual paper objects maps, for example or types of 
materials that would more properly belong in a museum preservation 
course: musical instruments, furniture, carpets, paintings. As much as I 
feel it desirable to include them in this paper, time does not allow me to 
discuss the preservation of these materials, nonpaper though they may be. 
However, any library which accepts these types of materials, whether to 
furnish a rare book room, to sponsor a series of musical concerts on their 
own instruments, or simply to keep a patron happy, has an obligation to 
see to their proper preservation. 

My coverage of nonpaper media, with one exception, will be directly 
proportionate to my understanding of the likelihood of finding that for- 
mat in a library collection. The exception will be for that substance whose 
deterioration might have a catastrophic effect upon virtually all other 
materials, paper and nonpaper alike, which are held in libraries: cellulose 
nitrate based film. 

I will attempt to give some realistic idea of the component parts of the 
general media listed above, review the principal preservation problems 
which they currently face, and cite the storage conditions and preservation 
procedures recommended today. If there is a particular publication which 
has been tried and proved generally reliable, I will cite it. Because the 
container and/or label is of such significance for many nonpaper objects, 
and because it frequently is an inseparable part of the item, I will occasion- 
ally consider its preservation properties as well. Finally, I will review the 
more promising current research and development related to the preserva- 
tion of nonpaper materials and share some speculations about the future 
prospects for storage and preservation both of original materials and the 
data they contain. 

Picture materials can be grouped into motion pictures, microforms, 
stills, and video recordings. Motion pictures can, in turn, be subgrouped 
into film widths, such as the standard 8, 16, 35, and 70mm widths; positives 

92 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

and negatives; fine grain masters; separate picture and sound track and 
composite picture and track; black and white and/or color; carried in 
strips, open reels, cassettes, and cartridges. Motion pictures are most fre- 
quently encountered which have a base of either cellulose acetate (hereafter 
called acetate), polymers of the polyester type, with polyethylene tereph- 
thalate (hereafter called Estar) being the more common of the polymer 
group, or cellulose nitrate (hereafter called nitrate). A gelatin suspended 
emulsion layer, for black and white film consisting primarily of either 
diazo or light sensitive silver salts, known commonly as silver halides, or 
for color film consisting of several emulsion layers, is held on the base by a 
thin adhesive layer. 

Microforms are most commonly found in 16 and 35mm, as microfiche 
or in reels, cassettes, or cartridges. They are also available in black and 
white and also color, although color microfilm is comparatively uncom- 
mon due to cost and color instability. They are made of materials similar to 
diose of motion pictures and in the same wide variety of generations and 

Stills are similar to the two formats just described, but while negatives 
are on a transparent film or glass base, positives are most likely on paper. 
The image may be in the form of a print or intended for projection and 
magnification as with motion pictures and microforms. Also in existence, 
but not included in this paper, are such older photographic techniques as 
daguerreotypes, tintypes, ambrotypes, collodion-coated glass plates, and 
albumenized paper. 

The last of the genre "pictures" to be considered is video recordings, 
the newest of this family and the most varied. The fixation of a television 
program may have the properties of motion picture film, as in a kinescope; 
it may be a magnetic image on tape or disc; or it may be a signal stored on a 
video disc. Digital versus analog signals are the latest competitors in the 
media contest. 

The principal thing we must know about digital and analog is that for 
every generation it is removed from the original recorded event, an analog 
signal loses information. By the time a film is copied six generations away 
from its original source, the human eye can easily see visible deterioration 
of the quality of the image and of the information being presented. There is 
no generation loss in reproducing a digital signal, regardless of the 
number of generations one may get from the source. A one-on-one compar- 
ison of die original and a copy 100 generations away should present no 
change in quality or quantity of digitally transmitted information. 

There are presently three types of video disc. As with most other 
nonpaper formats, picture and nonpicture alike, die player built for one 
type of system will probably not play the discs from the other two. If we 
were public consumers we could wait to get the machine that finally, if 

Preservation of Nonpaper Materials 93 

ever, wins out. Unfortunately, libraries must collect and make available 
materials wanted and needed for research. As with other nonpaper mate- 
rials, if the data is important enough, this usually means acquiring the 
material in the form then available, and acquiring and maintaining the 
necessary equipment to play it. 

The first of the three disc systems on the market was LaserVision, 
originally made only by Magnavox, but now available as well from U.S. 
Pioneer, and, in industrial versions, from Sony and MCA. Disco Vision. It is 
the one least like the conventional phonograph, since its 12-inch discs are 
read by lasers, not stylii, so there is no physical contact to wear out the discs. 
The recording is under the disc's transparent surface and the laser reads the 
bottom of the disc from the inside out. This system uses a Constant 
Angular Velocity (CAV), which is to say that the longer groove at the 
outside edge of the disc takes no longer to play than does the shorter groove 
at the inside margin of the disc. This allows for such "extras" as perfect still 
frame, slow motion, fast motion, and direct access to any individual frame. 
Unfortunately, it also means that the playing time of the disc is roughly 30 
minutes per side as opposed to the approximately 60 minutes per side of the 
Constant Linear Velocity (CLV) discs. Or, it may hold roughly 54,000 still 

The RCA Selectavision, introduced in the spring of 1981 using CLV, 
is more like the conventional audio phonograph. Its sylus senses variations 
in electrical capacitance as it rides over microscopic pits in the bottom of 
the disc's grooves. For protection against dust and scratches, the Selectavi- 
sion disc is covered by a rigid plastic sleeve that stays on until the disc is in 
the player. This system has no true still frame, slow motion, or fast motion. 
Its sound and picture quality are presently a bit lower than that of LaserVi- 
sion, and the first few players on the market do not have the stereo sound 
capability of LaserVision. The Selectavision mode disc (also known as 
Capacitance Electronic Disc, or CED) has been adopted by Zenith, Hitachi, 
Toshiba, Sears, Sanyo, Ward, and Radio Shack. 

I have not yet seen the third system, although it was to have appeared 
sometime in the fall of 1981. Called VHD, or Video High Density, it 
reportedly will be manufactured by Panasonic, General Electric, JVC, 
Quasar, Sharp, and Mitsubishi, and will require a similar protective jacket 
to the RCA Selectavision. Like LaserVision, it has no physical groove 
walls. Instead, its track is defined by tiny rows of recorded guide pulses, so 
it is being listed as offering the same extra features as LaserVision. 

There are two main types of videocassette formats, VHS and Beta. The 
chief differences are tape speed, cassette size, and the path through which 
the tape is threaded inside the machine. Since VHS tapes are in slightly 
larger cassettes and run at slightly slower speeds, their maximum playing 
time is a bit longer (six hours as opposed to Beta's five). Beta's simpler tape 

94 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

path makes such operations as shifting between play and fast forward 
quicker and more convenient. 

In addition to these two video tape recorders utilizing cassettes, there 
are, also, open reel and cartridge fed recorders. Open reel, cartridge, or 
cassette differ primarily in the way the tape is held for playing, as well as in 
the manner the tape is fed dirough the machine. In addition, there are wide 
variations within virtually all three video tape formats in the width of the 
magnetic tape, coming as wide as two-inches, or as narrow as 1/4 inch. 

For our preservation information purposes, the primary differences 
between video tape pictures and video disc pictures are: 

1. the ability to record and play, or, as the industry calls it, to "write and 
read." The video disc systems now generally available only "read" what 
has already been "written." Magnetic tape, regardless of its packaging, 
has "write and read" capability; and 

2. the LaserVision disc, and presumably the VHD system, offers the 
potential of not being damaged by the act of "reading," since the stylus 
does not come into contact with the encoded information. All other 
systems, whether video disc or tape, as well as all the parts of the other 
members of the "Picture" family, require direct contact of equipment 
and the carrier in order to make the data human readable and retriev- 
able. This, obviously, has far reaching repercussions for preservation of 
all data. 

Audio materials are grouped into discs, cylinders, mechanical devices, 
film, and wire and tape. 

The disc group varies in size from approximately one-inch to twenty 
inches or more in diameter, and from 1/64 of an inch to 1/4 or more of an 
inch in thickness. They have been made of hundreds of the solid substances 
presently known, including plastics, shellac, glass, wax, metal, rubber, 
tinfoil, wood, paper, and even chocolate candy. They also come in a 
combination of these: a core of metal, wood, glass, plaster of Paris, or 
paper, or a combination of these, and a playing surface of plastic, acetate, 
wax, or shellac. Their signal may be analog or digital, recorded either 
acoustically or electrically, using either a lateral or a vertical cutting and 
playback stylus. They play at speeds of less than 10 to greater than 100 
revolutions per minute (RPM). Their stylii have a tip radius from .0005 to 
35 mils, with intended tracking weights of less than 0.25 of a gram to 
several or more pounds in a groove that varies from microgroove to 
standard/ coarse goove widths, with all variations in between and beyond. 
The modern commercial "LP" disc is fairly standardized. This has not 
always been the case. If the manufacturer were using a different recording 
and playback signal and needed specific tracking, signal configuration 
and packaging to accomplish the desired end, the manufacturer created a 

Preservation of Nonpaper Materials 95 

new system for example hill-and-dale and lateral grooves. Multi -channel 
sound was realized by using binaural, bilateral, encoded, and enhanced 
mono; or, to insure that the public used their discs, manufacturers did such 
things as putting a large square spindle on the record machine so that the 
buyer of the machine would have to buy records with a similarly shaped 
hole. Each of these variants, whether of size, speed, stylus size and pressure, 
type of recording, direction of tracking, et al., requires a specific, working 
machine for information retrieval. Just as with most other nonpaper 
formats, an attempt to play a disc on the wrong machine will result in 
varying degrees of damage to the information-carrying package. 

Cylinders are the earliest form of sound recordings. They were the 
only successful form of recording sound for the first fifteen or so years of the 
history of the phonograph, and they were an accepted form in some areas 
they were the preferred form until well into this century. Though most 
people today would recognize almost every other form of sound carrier 
covered here today, few would make the connection between cylinders and 

Cylinders come in a range of sizes almost as varied as those just 
mentioned for discs. Their recording signal and mode are, however, gener- 
ally limited to hill-and-dale and mono, although the number of grooves 

The mechanical, or music box devices, are far too numerous to men- 
tion in any depth here. Their triggering devices were usually a disc, barrel, 
or strip of wood or paper with either indentions, protrusions, or simple 
cutouts intended to trigger an action: the plucking of a series of tuned 
springs, the opening of a pipe, the release of a hammer, the opening of a 
wind channel, etc. The instruments which were so activated were as varied 
as the modern player piano, a music box, a mechanically played violin, a 
church organ, or an entire orchestra of string, wind and percussion 

Film audio materials utilize the same base materials as those found in 
motion picture film: acetate, nitrate, and polyesters, with all of the inher- 
ent problems of each. The recording signal can be either in a cut groove or a 
strip of magnetic tape applied to the film. In addition, there is optical 
sound: a photographic line of varying width and frequency in transparent 
film. When in a cut groove, it carries the same type of hill-and-dale and/or 
lateral cut signal that one finds in the grooves of discs or cylinders. When in 
a strip of magnetic tape embedded in the film, the signal has the same 
possibilities as will be shortly listed for audio magnetic tape. The base 
material, regardless of its makeup, is generally 35mm wide. 

Wire and tape audio recordings are grouped together here not because 
of their base materials, for they are usually quite different, but because of 
their similarity of signal. They both depend, as does videotape, upon a 

96 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

magnetic signal held in wire, in the wire itself, and in tape, in magnetic 
particles which have been dispersed in a resin binder. The packaging of 
both, as with videotape, may be either an open reel, a cartridge, or a 

The wire varies in diameter from 0.7 to 1 .2 mils and may be made of 
virtually any metal wire capable of holding a magnetic charge. Usually, 
however, it was made of either stainless steel or carbon steel. 

Magnetic tape varies from 1/8 inch to 2 inches or more in width and 
0.25 to 1 .5 mils or more in thickness and has an acceptable playing speed, 
depending upon the signal to be placed on the tape and the desired level of 
response which will be minimally acceptable, from 15/16 ips to 60 ips or 
higher. Magnetic tapes are made on a base material, now usually of 
polyester, but originally on metal bands and paper and acetate strips. The 
paper, acetate, or polyester base material is covered in a gelatin which 
carries the resin binder loaded with magnetizable particles and, hence, the 
potential magnetic signal. The coating, or gelatin, is held in place by an 
adhesive layer, or is bonded to and is a part of the base. Both wire and tape 
can carry either analog or digital signals. 

Other than base material, the principal difference in wire and tape is 
the number of tracks or bands of sound that each can potentially carry. 
Wire is limited to a single signal. Tape can carry an infinite number of 
signals depending upon the width of the tape and the size of the tracks 
thereon. It is not unusual for a modern magnetic tape to carry up to 
sixty -four different signals. For commercially available audio tape record- 
ings the number is generally limited to a maximum of either four or eight 
such bands. 

An additional difference is the method in which loose ends of each are 
connected to like materials. To splice a tape, one can either use splicing 
tape, a hot splice, or an ultrasonic splice. To "splice" wire one simply ties 
the two desired ends together in a small, tight knot. 

Computer records have been stored in magnetic tapes, discs, punched 
paper cards, cylinders, crystals, and microforms. At present the most com- 
mon format is magnetic tape utilizing a digital signal. Punched cards 
appear to be being phased out and the possibilities of crystal storage are 
just beginning to be realized. Occasionally one sees or becomes aware of 
analog signal recordings, usually on magnetic tape and used for backup 
and preservation purposes. 

The worst disaster for most nonpaper materials is fire which is the 
disaster most likely to destroy virtually all possibilities of salvage, since so 
many of the base materials of modern nonpaper records are petrochemical 
products. This, of course, is true for virtually all library materials. Yet the 
greatest potential catastrophic degradation for any likely library item, and 
the format with the single most susceptibility to heat, much less to fire 

Preservation of Nonpaper Materials 97 

itself, is cellulose nitrate based film materials. Temperatures of only 
slightly over 100F are sufficient to cause nitrate based film, with no visible 
signs of deterioration, to self ignite. Once ignited it burns at about 15 times 
the speed of wood, and once ignited it cannot be smothered, since it carries 
within its chemical makeup enough oxygen to feed its own combustion. 

You may well ask how many of us have, or will ever have, nitrate based 
films in our collections? And if the number is as small as you are correctly 
thinking it is, then why waste time with this topic? Following a very 
unfortunate incident at the National Archives' remote nitrate film vaults 
outside Washington, D.C., in 1978, the Library of Congress became even 
more acutely aware of the potential disaster of having nitrate in other than 
a specifically designed and maintained film vault. The National Library 
was already aware that it had some 90,000+ cans of nitrate based motion 
picture film which had been maintained in separate, National Fire Protec- 
tion Association (NFPA) approved vaults. The Library staff had pulled a 
large quantity of nitrate based still film and stored it under similar condi- 
tions. On closer inspection, staff found additional still film, but were 
confident that there was no nitrate motion picture film in the general film 
collections. In September 1981, the staff became aware of nitrate in a 
collection of materials which a very knowledgeable donor had told them 
held no nitrate, and which had previously been spot-checked to assure all 
concerned that such was the case. The collection had been placed in a 
remote area where large parts of the Library's general collection are held. It 
had been there for several years as specific preselected parts of it were 
brought out and integrated into the cataloged collection. Then, during 
September, the Library of Congress staff became aware that one of the reels 
being processed was nitrate. The entire collection was then inspected and it 
was discovered that there were an additional ten reels of nitrate based film 
in the 1200 or so in the collection. Your comment might logically be: "So 
what? It was only eleven reels of film out of the approximately 250,000 reels 
of safety film which LC holds. " Eleven reels of 35mm film would weigh an 
average of fifty pounds. A single pound of burning nitrate based film gives 
off four to five cubic feet of such gases as nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and 
tetroxide, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Once burning, it cannot 
be extinguished by normal fire fighting techniques. The only reasonable 
hope is to contain the fire while keeping the temperature of other nearby 
items below their flash point. The usual means of doing this, and virtually 
the only one which seems to work consistently, is to pour large quantities 
of water on the fire and its area, thus introducing the second great enemy of 
paper and nonpaper library materials alike: water and flooding. 

The Library of Congress currently has four 5 by 7 by 20 feet nitrate film 
vaults filled with flat nitrate based picture materials. The Smithsonian, 
also inspecting its immense collections following the 1978 NARS fire, has 

98 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

located enough nitrate based materials to fill almost three similarly sized 

I urge you, if you have any film based materials possibly dating from 
the mid-1950s or before to contact Eastman Kodak and get their 1950s 
booklet on identifying, handling, inspecting, and storing nitrate film. The 
NFPA Code 40 deals with storage facilities for nitrate film and must be 
followed in every area of the United States of which I am aware. The odds 
are that you have none, but be sure. The greatest disaster attributed to a 
nitrate film fire occurred in May 1929, in a Cleveland, Ohio, hospital. The 
fire, started by a bare light bulb and faulty steam pipes in the X-ray film 
storage area, burned only some 4900 pounds of nitrate, or the equivalent of 
roughly 1000 cans of 35mm film, yet killed 125 persons. Virtually all of the 
fatalities were from the fumes and gases of the burning film, not from the 
heat of the fire. Reportedly, some of the deaths were as much as 48 hours 
later as apparent survivors were walking down the street or resting in their 

The picture materials most likely to be held by libraries are microfilm, 
both roll and fiche, 8 and 16mm projection prints of motion pictures, 
photographic prints, and a growing number of video cassettes. 

The recommended storage of service copies of virtually all safety film 
calls for an area with filtered air, kept dark except when access is needed, 
with the temperature at 68 to 70F, and with a relative humidity of 35 to 45 
percent. All materials should be staged allowed to come to ambient 
temperature and humidity before being taken from the storage area for use 
and brought gradually back to low temperature when being returned to 
storage for at least twelve hours before being used. They should be on 
hubs, if appropriate, packaged and sealed in to poly/ foil bags or envelopes, 
and, for reels of motion picture film, shelved in nonrust, metal cans placed 
horizontally no more than three high on a shelf. Microforms and stills are 
usually filed in drawers rather than placed on shelves. All film products 
should be inspected regularly and, as appropriate to the format, rolled 
through no less than every three years. 

The single largest problem which most libraries seem to have with all 
film based materials is surface scratches caused through normal use and 
handling. Of course, more careful handling, better maintenance of the 
equipment, and more care in cleaning the film and equipment before every 
use will make a significant difference in this problem. However, a new 
product recently offered by 3M holds great promise in this area, especially 
for rare and irreplaceable materials and for heavily used materials. Called 
"Photogard," it has a very impressive track record to date. The following 
data has been furnished by 3M. A polymerized silicone, Photogard can be 
put onto basically any processed photographic material, including glass. 
Magnetic tapes and optical video discs are presently being tested. It has 

Preservation of Nonpaper Materials 99 

potential use in the graphic arts, with X-ray and phosphorous screens, in 
photo finishing, and in all micrographic and motion picture applications. 
The 3M company does not recommend it for nitrate based film materials 
because of the use of heat in the application. Coated materials are: 

1 . Highly resistant to abrasion. In the Gardner Falling Sand Abrasion Test 
there is a 70 percent haze on uncoated film materials, and an 1 1 percent 
haze on like coated materials. On coated glass, the haze level drops to 10 
percent. Photogard is approximately eleven times less abrasive than 

2. Highly antistatic. The "half life" of an electrical charge at 50 percent 
relative humidity on Photogarded polyester film is 0.1 of one second. 
Uncoated, the "half life" of an electrical charge under the same condi- 
tions is 2000 seconds. 

3. Highly solvent resistant. Coated film was virtually unchanged by 
chemicals that destroyed uncoated film. 

4. Easily cleanable. Pencil, grease, oil, et al., wipe off. Cleaners may be 
either virtually any cleaning chemical, ultrasonic cleaners, or combina- 
tions of the two, with the major excepdon that all cleaners and 
machines should be free of wax. 

5. Virtually antibacterial. Properly precleaned, coated film will support 
few if any bacteria. 

6. More resistant to ultraviolet (u/v) light fade. There is a u/v light screen 
built into the coating, resulting in a decrease in u/v light fade by a factor 
of 4. 

7. More resistant to darkroom storage fade. There is a 50 percent reduction 
in darkroom fade. 

Photogard transmits 97 percent of visible light. The very smooth 
surface obtained by coating film reduces surface light scatter and greatly 
improves the legibility of a reel of microfilm which the Library of Congress 
had assumed to be virtually unusable. Obviously, the coating will make no 
major improvement on scratches which penetrate the emulsion. One other 
example of the usefulness of Photogard on heavily used film is that from 
the New York State Museum in Albany, New York. They showed the film 
Logging 8400 times over twenty-five weeks of an exhibit. Their films 
normally last a very impressive 20 16 plays over the six weeks of a scheduled 
exhibit. After over four times as many showings, the Photogard coated film 
was still considered to be in an acceptable condition by museum personnel. 

The principal negative result of the 3M tests is that there are some 
increased problems in cold splicing of coated film, but splicing can readily 
be accomplished by the use of available products and techniques. There is 
no particular problem with hot or ultrasonic splices. 

100 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

In the matter of color fading of motion picture film images, Kodak has 
published its findings on color stability. Using short term tests at high 
temperatures to predict the density changes expected, they tell us that 
materials stored at room temperature (24C/75F) or lower, with dark 
keeping storage conditions at 40 percent relative humidity for all colors, 
have an acceptable density of 0.8 or better for fifteen to twenty years. By 
lowering the temperature to 16C/60F, we can expect 0.8 density or better 
for fifty or so years; and by going to -18C/0F, we go to upward of 1000 
years of 0.8 density or better. By lowering the relative humidity to 15 
percent we double the predicted dark storage capability by a factor of two. 
Specified data on particular motion picture products is available from 
Kodak, Dept. 620DS, Rochester, New York 14650, as is the data from which 
I took the above statistics. 

There is one major problem with the Kodak data: there is presently 
available little information on the effect of temperature and relative 
humidity cycling on film when taking it from darkened, controlled atmo- 
sphere storage to a projector or printer and returning it to the cold vault. 
Kodak, of course, recommends the staging of materials coming and going 
from the cold vaults, but there appears to be little documented information 
on long term effects of repeated cyclings. 

An additional problem in the preservation of film is the separation of 
the emulsion from the base material. The recommended, and apparently 
successful, solution to this problem is to maintain humidity and tempera- 
ture as constantly as possible. If there must be a change in either or both of 
these vital elemen ts of preservation they should come as slowly as possible, 
avoiding the sudden changes which take place when adequate staging is 
not practiced. 

The recommended storage for all magnetic tape, regardless of the 
signal which it carries, its thickness, its width, or its packaging, is: 

1. Where possible, use only reel-to-reel tape, on the largest possible un- 
slotted hubs made of metal whose flanges are immediately replaced if 
they are deformed or out of plane. 

2. Package reels in sealed metal cans or sealed boxes of a material such as 
polyethylene/cardboard/foil/polyethylene laminate. The boxes 
should be stacked on edge in the shelves. Tape should not be packaged 
until it is in equilibrium with the stacks. 

3. Stack temperature should be maintained at 65 to 68F and 40 percent 
plus or minus 5 percent relative humidity (RH) for often used record- 
ings while storage in 50F at the same relative humidity is recom- 
mended for seldom used and particularly valuable recordings. 

4. Playback and packaging rooms should be maintained dust free and at 
the same 68F/40 percent RH as the stacks. Tapes exposed toother en- 

Preservation of Nonpaper Materials 101 

vironments should be staged in the playback environment before 

5. Stray external magnetic fields should not be permitted in the stack, 
playback, and packaging environments. The maximum flux density 
should be 10 gauss. 

6. Playback equipment should be maintained as recommended by the 
manufacturer, including cleaning, tape transport adjustment, and 
component demagnetization. 

7. A rewind and inspection deck, separate from playback facilities, 
should be used for packaging and inspection. Winding tension for 1 .5 
mil tape should be a constant torque of 3-5 ounces at the hub of a 10- 
inch reel. 

8. The best tape presently available for storage purposes appears to be 1 .5 
mil Mylar base. 

9. Tape should be recorded at a maximum level below 2 percent har- 
monic distortion (4db below normal recording level is usually satisfac- 
tory). The first and last fifteen feet of the tape should not be used for 
program recording, but should have a burst of 10 mil wavelength 
(approximately 750 cps at 7.5 ips) signal at maximum recording level 
preceded and followed by several layers of blank tape for inspection 

10. Tape should be aged in the packaging room for six months prior to 
recording. Recorded tape which has been exposed to other than the 
prescribed environment should be conditioned in the packaging room 
for six weeks prior to packaging. 

1 1 . Tape should be inspected once every two years, measured from time of 
last playback, and rewound so that the curvature of the base is opposite 
to the direction of the previous curvature. This inspection should con- 
sist of measurement of print through caused by the toneburst at the end 
of the tape and a spot check at the tape end next to the hub for coating 
adhesion or delamination. It need not include playback. 

12. Storage shelves should be made of wood or a nonmagnetizable metal 
free from vibration and shock. 

The principal problems associated with magnetic recordings are 
undesired erasing of the magnetic signal, separation of the emulsion from 
the base material, print through, and tape breakage. There is no new 
breakthrough for these problems of the scope and magnitude of the 3M 
Photogard for film-based materials; the only prevention for them is care in 
handling and following of the recommended storage and handling proce- 
dures given above. For unique or very valuable materials it is always wise 
to have backup copies stored separate from the service copies. This, of 
course, presents the problem of generation loss in analog copies. If a master 

102 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

and a service copy are to be maintained, the master should be the item 
closest to the original and should be used only to create new sendee copies. 

Computer centers have a very desirable backup procedure which, if 
possible, is recommended for all other tape collections: data banks are 
backed-up daily, with the backup copy being kept for a specified, overlap- 
ping period of time with other such tape copies. Tapes which are kept on 
site are periodically transferred to a safe storage area for additional backup 
capability. Since most computer records are digital, there is no loss of 
information from generation to generation. Thus, at any given time, 
virtually all of the data bank is available on site, in a backup copy also on 
site, and in a safe storage area for added protection. 

The most frequently encountered sound recordings are 33 1/3 and 45 
rpm vinyl discs, 78 rpm shellac discs, and magnetic tapes. The recom- 
mended storage for magnetic tapes and their principal problems have just 
been covered above. The recommended storage criteria for discs are: 

1 . Store the cleaned disc recording in a sealed sleeve made of a laminate of 
polyethylene/paperboard/foil/polyethylene of acid free thirty-four 
point chipboard or better, soft aluminum foil of 0.0001 inch thickness, 
and polyethylene. The discs should not be packaged and sealed until 
they are in equilibrium with the intended storage area. 

2. Stack temperature should be maintained at 70F and 45 percent plus or 
minus 5 percent relative humidity for often used recordings or for 
service copies, and 50F and the same relative humidity for seldom used 

3. Playback and packaging room(s) should be maintained dust free and at 
the recommended conditions for often used recordings. Discs exposed to 
other environments should be conditioned in the playback area for 
twenty-four hours before playback and for an equal period in the 
storage area atmosphere before being returned to storage. 

4. Store in a darkened room, where possible, but always away from sun- 
light and from artificial lighting of the shorter wavelengths. 

5. Store all discs in the vertical position without pressure on the disc sur- 
face or the opportunity for off vertical attitude, using only clean, un- 
abrasive surfaced packaging as suggested in number 1 above; do not 
permit sliding contact of disc surface with other surfaces. 

6. Play the disc only with a stylus of proper size and weight for the par- 
ticular disc. 

7. If a disc is to receive heavy playing, particularly if it is unusual or 
unique, make a service copy and use the original as the archival master 
as above. 

The principal problems of preservation associated with disc record- 
ings are warpage, heavy groove wear, breaking and rim chips (particularly 

Preservation of Nonpaper Materials 103 

of 78 rpm discs and older 33 and 45 rpm discs), and distortion of the 
playback grooves by fungi. These are generally readily correctable by 
proper handling, cleaning, packaging, and storage. Probably the single 
greatest problem in the preservation of disc recordings is groove wear. This 
can be greatly reduced by proper maintenance of the playback equipment, 
regular inspection of the stylus condition and weight, and regular cleaning 
of the disc. In addition, there are a number of products on the market today 
which treat the playing surface to either harden it to reduce groove wear, 
reduce the static electricity on the surface of the disc and thus cut down dust 
attraction, or remove the built up dirt and dust prior to playing. In general, 
I am very leery of anything which is going onto the surface of the disc that 
will alter or coat it and which, in all probability, will have to be removed at 
some point in the future if the disc is to be preserved. One product, 
however, LAST, has received high praise from many of my colleagues. The 
Library of Congress is currently considering whether to use the product for 
its collections. 

A major problem with disc sound recordings which is, fortunately, 
lacking for the generally collected nonpaper materials is the presence of a 
label, usually paper, affixed directly to the surface of the disc. The paper 
label, with its glue or heat-seal and inks, introduces an entirely new 
problem to the preservation of these materials: How does the preservation 
of paper materials affect the preservation of nonpaper? Most other non- 
paper materials have something of this problem, for publishers are forced, 
for reasons of bibliographic control if nothing else, to put identifying and 
descriptive information on the item or its container. In mostcases, only the 
disc recording has its label affixed directly to its surface. This, also, raises 
special problems when the item is being cleaned: will the binder dissolve in 
water; will the paper dissolve; are the inks and dyes water soluable; is the 
paper acidic; will it support the growth of fungi? In most cases, the answers 
to these questions seem to be in favor of preservation: the glues may 
dissolve, as will the inks, dyes, and paper, but they can be protected with a 
little care in the cleaning and handling process. The paper seems, gener- 
ally, to be low in acidity and resistant to fungus growth. 

Publications of general use which have been evaluated and are consid- 
ered by most working in the field to be relatively dependable are compara- 
tively few. They include: 

Bertram, H. Neal, and Stafford, Michael K. "The Print-Through Phenomenon." 

Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, vol. 28, no. 10, Oct. 1980. 
. Recording Media Archival Attributes (Magnetic) (Contract No. 

F30602-78-C-0181 PR NO. 1-8-4008). Redwood City, Calif.: Ampex Corp. 1979 

(2d printing 1980). 
Cuddihy, Edward F. "Aging of Magnetic Recording Tape. " IEEE Transactions on 

Magnetics, vol. MAG-16, no. 4, July 1980. 
Eastman Kodak. Preservation of Photographs. Rochester, N.Y.: Eastman Kodak, 


104 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

. Storage and Preservation of Motion Picture Film. Rochester, N.Y.: 

Eastman Kodak, 1957 (out of print, but selected portions have been reprinted by 

Storage and Preservation of Microfilm. Rochester, N.Y.: Eastman 

Kodak, 1981. 

Pickett, A.G., and Lemcoe, M.M. Preservation and Storage of Sound Recordings. 
Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1959 (out of print, but LC has an- 
nounced its intention to reprint). 

At present, there seems to be an active interest in the preservation of 
nonpaper materials. In recent years this has not been the case. The last 
in-depth work on the preservation and storage of sound recordings, for 
example, was published in 1959 and has been out of print for the last ten 
years or so. Currently, work is being carried out or is being actively 
considered by Kodak, 3M, various governmental agencies and bodies, 
including the intelligence community, the National Bureau of Standards, 
the National Archives, and the Library of Congress, as well as professional 
organizations and associations, including the American Film Institute, the 
Association for Recorded Sound Collections, the Audio Engineering 
Society, the International Association of Sound Archives, the Music 
Library Association, the Society of Motion Picture Technicians and Engi- 
neers, and the University Film Association. Of particular interest is the 
National Bureau of Standards' recently announced five year study of 
archival stability of polyester film chemical properties. On an interna- 
tional level, Unesco adopted recommendations for the safeguarding and 
preservation of moving images at its general conference in Belgrade, in 
October 1980. In addition, a number of private individuals are personally 
working on specialized projects, including Art Schifrin with audio cylin- 
ders and early movie sound tracks, Henry Wilhelm on color stability, and 
Steve Smolian with radio transcription materials. 

An important event that is taking place today is the development of 
systems for the storage of digital signals on optical video discs. This is 
important not only for the preservation of nonpaper materials and arti- 
facts, but for information in general. The life span of an article in an ideal 
environment is a property which is built into the article when it is manu- 
factured. Proper care cannot extend this potential life, although it can 
prevent premature failure. The importance of the optical disc is that it 
permits the storage and retrieval of data without subjecting it to the 
physical stresses of most current storage and playback. The advantages of 
this system are those which were cited earlier in this paper when I addressed 
the LaserVision disc. The disc is read by lasers, thus there is no physical 
contact with the stored data to wear it out faster than its own built in 
properties dictate. It uses a Constant Angular Velocity (CAV), thus allow- 
ing for perfect still frame, fast forward, and fast backward searches, along 

Preservation of Nonpaper Materials 105 

with direct access to any single frame. It has the capability to store aural, 
visual, and machine data in a digital mode, thus preventing loss of data in 
the transfer from one generation to another. 

There are still a number of problems to resolve. Just what is the 
potential life of the disc? How susceptible is it to fluctuations in heat and 
humidity? Will its clear surface scratch easily? Will it discolor with age, or 
from heat and/or humidity? Will the laminated "sandwich" which makes 
up the disc separate because of heat or other factors? In addition, the 
present state of video does not allow for direct retrieval of an image with 
enough clarity and definition for most motion picture researchers, much 
less for the specialist working with manuscripts, art or maps, to name but 
three fields dependent upon clarity and resolution of image. Also, the 
range and fidelity of colors possible with video have been attacked by those 
working in areas where color is of importance: maps, art, pictographs, etc. 
Nonetheless, this device seems to be the solution of most of the preservation 
problems which are faced by every other known library medium, paper and 
nonpaper alike. We look with great anticipation to the realization of the 
solution of these problems and want to believe those who tell us that we can 
have the requisite resolution and color while assuring us that the problems 
of storage and preservation are really not unsolvable. 

We still have the materials we have inherited, however. The optical 
disc and its solutions, while promising for many lesser applications, 
cannot conserve those items we must retain in their original physical form. 
For those items, we must do everything possible to insure that the life span 
potential built into all the materials placed in our keeping is realized to its 
fullest possible extent. Otherwise, if ever a permanent preservation system 
is developed, we will have far less to preserve and share with the future than 
we received from the past. 

The interrelationships between the general needs for space, shelving, 
storage, structural weight loads, temperature and relative humidity, pack- 
aging, and shielding for the varied materials being considered can best be 
seen in the accompanying table. 


Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

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see NFPA Code 40; film shou 
be hand inspected every 6 mom 
shelved in nonrust metal cans 
cans horizontal, maximum 3 
cans high 

poly/foil sleeves; heat sealed; 
in drawers 

poly/foil sleeves or bags 
(fiche/roll); heat sealed; rolls 
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110 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 


William Aguilar (student, Graduate School of Library and Information 
Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Recently in a stereo 
review journal, I was reading about a new product by Sony Corporation. 
This product was a 35mm camera that was rather unique in that it did not 
use any film; instead it used some type of magnetic device. The image was 
played back on a television screen. I'd like to know if you could tell us 
anymore about this device and its impact on the microfilming industry. 

Gerald Gibson: Though I have not seen the item to which you refer, the 
main impact would seem to be in the home photographic market. As I 
understand the product, it is not a 35mm image, nor even a photographic 
image. Rather it is a magnetic recording to be played back via a video 
system. With it comes all of the problems of resolution, of clarity, and of 
color which any other magnetic video system presents to its users. If you 
want a general image, or at least do not need one with greater resolution 
than your video screen furnishes, then you will probably be OK. If you 
wish detailed information or storage capability, this type of image gives 
you the same problems as other magnetic video signals. For example, the 
film I showed here today was first copied onto video cassette by the 
Library's video lab. Usually their work is quite good, so I do not think that 
was where the problem lay. In any event, the video cassette copy was 
unusable for public presentation. You could not see a useful picture unless 
you were close enough to touch the screen. It lacked the level of clarity that 
exists even with a poor 16mm copy. I do not think there is any serious 
consideration of the device you mention for use in preservation. 


Binding and Preservation Librarian 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Preservation and Conservation Decisions 
in the Local Library 

In the course of the second semester last year, I received a note from the 
University Librarian, Hugh Atkinson, with which was enclosed a note 
from a faculty member in the Department of Sociology. This faculty 
person had located in the library's stacks an old and worn volume which he 
found to be very important and informative. In his note, he asked whether 
the library was interested in faculty opinion as to what might be worthy of 
preservation, and he indicated his interest in our doing something to 
prevent the loss of this valuable volume. Mr. Atkinson asked me to look 
into the particular matters involved and to report both to him and to the 
faculty person. 

In checking with the staff of the Bookstacks, I learned that, as a result 
of the interest of the writer of the letter, the book had been routed to storage 
which meant that it would be filmed or photocopied if and when it was 
requested again. As a result of this special interest, the volume was pulled 
from its place enroute to storage and given immediate attention as to its 
needs for preservation. 

The volume turned out to be a pamphlet published in 1913 which had 
been inserted into a grey photomount pamphlet binder apparently soon 
after its arrival in the library. The pamphlet itself was brittle, but not 
broken or badly discolored. It lacked a title page (possibly it never had one). 
There were no illustrations. The original cover which had been pasted to 
the front of the pamphlet binder had become brittle and broken along with 
the binder, but had lost none of its printed information. Our conservation 
and photographic services units determined that the best procedure in this 
instance was to photocopy the entire pamphlet, bind the copy in a new 
pamphlet binder with acid-free end papers and discard the original. This 


112 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

was done, including the making of a copy of the original cover to serve as a 
substitute title page in the new binder. 

When the new copy was ready to be returned to the Bookstacks for 
shelving, I wrote two notes (one to the faculty member and one to the 
University Librarian) reporting on the entire process and indicating that 
there was in operation in the stacks a program by which staff listen to 
faculty and other users and route materials so as to assure special handling 
and eventual preservation. 

I've recounted this experience because it illustrates the involvement of 
people at several points in a large library staff engaged in ongoing preser- 
vation efforts. Those involved were a library user, a library administrator, 
those responsible for servicing the volume involved, the conservation staff, 
and the photographic services staff. Each individual or group played a 
particular role in working out treatment for the volume. The only thing 
which marks this incident as special is the direct personal involvement of 
the library's chief administrator. In my experience, all of these same groups 
and individuals are essential in preservation activity if preservation and 
conservation of the collections is to become a reality. 

For a period of years, I have been aware that the decisions regarding 
preservation which I have made, which I have shared in making, or which 
have been made by others have not all been of the same nature. The level or 
levels within the library's staff hierarchy of the persons involved make 
some decisions differ from other decisions; however, these levels of involve- 
ment are not the heart of the problem. The thing lacking was a clear way to 
designate other distinctions which seemed necessary in attempting to 
analyze such problems and decisions. I found little help in my reading or 
sharing experiences with others in attempting to work in this area. In 
reading the proceedings of the 1976 conference on A National Preservation 
Program at the Library of Congress, I was therefore quite interested to 
discover that Daniel Boorstin in opening the conference suggested a divi- 
sion of the questions comprising the problem of preservation. He charac- 
terized two rather distinct types of problems as epistemological and 
technical. 1 He further described the epistemological questions as being 
social questions, meaning that they are questions relating to the interests 
of those who will use, administer, and service the materials comprising the 
collections. I must admit that the term epistemological sent me to the 
dictionary because it has been some time since I had studied formal 
philosophical language. At this point, it becomes necessary to understand 
Boorstin's exact meaning and intention in interjecting this term into the 
vocabulary of library preservation. Epistemology is defined as "the study 
of the methods and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its 
limits and validity; broadly: the theory of knowledge." 2 

Decisions in the Local Library 113 

After some reflection on this definition, I have concluded that this is 
probably a happy choice of terms, given Boorstin's qualification that by 
the term epistemological he means that these questions in their broad sense 
are social questions as well as questions of knowledge because they pertain 
to the society for which recorded knowledge is preserved as well as to the 
knowledge itself. 

Under the heading "epistemological questions" we can collect those 
concerns which have to do with the need to preserve materials in the 
collections of libraries and archives. These are the questions of what we 
should attempt to preserve in a general sense as well as the questions which 
inevitably arise relating to budgeting, staffing and equipping our institu- 
tions to do the work of preservation. In general these epistemological 
questions involve more than the conservator, the preservation librarian, 
and others on a library staff with responsibility for the care and keeping of 
the collections. All of these persons are included, but these questions also 
call for participation by those who use the materials the sociologist in my 
introductory remarks and others like him engaged in research, teaching 
and other activities requiring the use of libraries and archives. Often these 
persons have very deep and specific knowledge of the materials of a 
particular specialized subject area. Further, these problems, by their very 
nature, involve library administrators, budget officers, and those involved 
in raising funds for the institution among whom may be board members, 
friends' groups, and possibly even individual donors. 

Boorstin's other major heading, "technical questions," which he 
further defined as physical questions, permits the gathering of those ques- 
tions and concerns which have to do with the physical nature of library and 
archival materials and the activities and processes which can be used to 
enhance their continued usefulness. 3 These are the questions and decisions 
of preservation-minded librarians and other library staff as well as of 
conservators and preservation specialists as they consider the physical 
condition and requirements both of particular materials and of whole 

Despite the tone of the above sentences, these concerns are not mutu- 
ally exclusive. All, or nearly all, of the groups and individuals referred to in 
the foregoing remarks are concerned with preservation in general, with the 
determination of preservation policy, with the establishment of budgets, 
deployment of staff and the other ways and means involved in planning 
and doing the work of preservation. Epistemological questions, as they are 
answered, inform those doing the work; and, in the other direction, infor- 
mation about processes and procedures, new developments, new needs, 
and gaps in the ability of an institution to deal with these problems inform 
those whose role is primarily administrative in nature. Actually, trying to 
distinguish between the two with great precision is very difficult because 

114 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

neither the people concerned nor the functions separate with any great 
neatness. The distinctions made are for purposes of discussion and descrip- 
tion and should not be carried over too rigidly into a working situation. 
In the paragraphs which follow, several questions or problem areas 
which fall under one or the other of these two broad headings are discussed. 
Though the discussion centers first on epistemological questions and then 
upon technical concerns, their interrelated and overlapping natures are 
quite apparent; however, the usefulness of these terms in enabling one to 
distinguish between differing preservation problems is apparent. 

Epistemological Questions or Decisions 

Perhaps the first and most basic of these is the matter of whether or not 
to take any particular notice of preservation or to institute any kind of 
preservation or conservation program within an institution. In its shortest 
and most concise form this question might be phrased, "Should a library 
preserve materials?" 

There are libraries which at first glance might seem to have little or no 
need to become involved with preservation because their mission is to 
provide current materials or current information. Such libraries have no 
archival function and no intention to be libraries of record. However, even 
such libraries have the need to preserve their current materials for current 
use which may stretch over many years; and these institutions will ulti- 
mately find it the better part of wisdom to listen to and heed the gospel of 
preservation, particularly those parts which counsel safe physical han- 
dling and storage in clean, air-conditioned, pollution-free, light- 
controlled quarters. Further, libraries emphasizing current information 
will have need in many instances for active binding programs to make it 
possible to keep their materials organized as well as to make them available 
whole and complete. Almost without exception, they will also have the 
need to repair and rebind at least occasional items which come to some 
kind of grief at the hand of even the most careful and well-meaning 
individuals (both patron and staff). Thus, even though there may be no 
commitment to keep materials after their current information use is past, 
there is need for preservation and conservation activity in libraries which 
might seem unlikely places for it. 

The second question, logically, is "What materials will be preserved?" 
This question is stated in this form because it is still not safe to assume that 
all libraries will or can conform to the canons of the gospel of preservation 
relating to provision of air-conditioned, pollution-free, light-controlled 
quarters. As yet, we have not been able in many libraries to acquire this 
level of protection for all our collections. The library which has done so is 
to be counted among the fortunate, and the rest must count themselves 

Decisions in the Local Library 115 

among those still striving to meet these basic criteria. It is part of the 
routine of survivorship among those lacking this level of protection to 
work for the coming of a better day, however that may be possible. This 
may include the documentation of present inadequacies, helping set up a 
departmental library in new quarters with the necessary equipment and 
controls to provide a safe environment, and working with all who are 
interested in improving these conditions. Meanwhile, with or without all 
the collections of a library in ideal environments, all libraries and institu- 
tions with archival missions are faced with caring for collections or por- 
tions of collections exhibiting physical problems stemming from age and 
use. Hence, it appears that the question "What materials will be pre- 
served?" is still valid. While it may be that existing quarters are inadequate, 
there may be parts of collections which can be dealt with in a positive 
fashion including the institution of improved housekeeping and teaching 
the staff to handle materials as they work with them in ways which will 
minimize wear and tear. Materials of great intrinsic value, unique items, 
and materials of particular research interest all may provide grist for the 
preservation mill. Working with such limited groups of materials both 
fills important needs and gives an institution the opportunity to get started 
with preservation activities. 

How, at the present time, a library determines what to preserve beyond 
these fairly obvious types of things is a question for which there is no one 
clear answer. Such an answer awaits at least two developments. One is the 
availability of mass deacidif ication; the other is the development of priori- 
ties both within individual institutions and among groups of libraries, as 
to what will receive such treatment. Present indications seem to imply that 
deacidif ica don service may not be too much more delayed, so planning for 
its use should begin now. There are some relatively obvious groups of 
materials in almost all institutions which may be good candidates for 
initial consideration. Included are those select collections often termed 
"reference collections" and sometimes called "core subject collections" 
which are frequently kept close at hand for heavy use by those providing 
reference service and/ or working closely with researchers and students in 
particular subject fields. To be able to treat such collections so as to assure 
their continued usefulness and availability would be a major achievement. 
The gradual emergence of networks presenting the profession with work- 
ing groups of libraries already formed and already quite dependent upon 
each other could easily expand their sharing into preservation and conser- 
vation by beginning to formulate plans for coordinated programs on a 
regional or other logical basis designed to assure geographic distribution 
of materials while sharing the work of preservation. Within regions, 
libraries could have primary preservation missions dependent upon their 
strengths, thereby relieving the libraries involved from the need to attempt 

116 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

to preserve all their holdings equally. Such an endeavor will require the 
efforts of library users, librarians with many specialties, and library conser- 
vators with knowledge both of collections and of the emerging techniques. 
Also required will be an evaluation of collections of a type we have not had 
in the past, but one which can utilize past experience in judging the 
quality of library resources. Such a program will also require ingenuity in 
other areas and a great deal of determination to succeed before any mate- 
rials are actually deacidified and back on the shelves. 

At some risk of seeming to have answered before having asked it, I 
submit that the third question in this group of concerns under the heading 
epistemological questions is: "How will these materials be preserved?" I 
make this disclaimer because my remarks about deacidif ication and preser- 
vation planning may seem to have already provided an answer. However, I 
doubt that it will be so simple and direct if and when we get to the time that 
libraries generally have access to deacidification on a collection-wide basis. 
The reason is that deacidification will not be a whole cure, but will be a 
great help in arresting the progress of embrittlement for those things 
which are not yet brittle or which are not yet too brittle to be used. 
However, deacidification will not restore strength to paper already too 
deteriorated for use. Thus the question of methods of preservation 

In considering how materials will be preserved we have our past 
experiences as well as whatever indications of the future we can discern to 
guide us. Past experience indicates that brittleness can be dealt with in 
several ways which are familiar but which possibly may be reiterated 
without too much fear of belaboring the obvious: 

1. Preservation-minded staff all across the library to handle materials in 
ways appropriate to their condition and to extending their usefulness; 

2. Quarters adequate for providing safe physical handling and safe storage 
environments for materials whatever their format, size or medium; 

3. Staff specializing in preservation to provide information and training 
for nonspecialist staff, to provide service for materials needing repair 
and restoration, and to provide quality control of all preservation 

4. An in-house facility for preservation staff to work effectively and effi- 

5. A binding program, ordinarily based on commercial library bindery 
services, to provide basic protection and organization for individual 

6. Services of skilled commercial hand binders/ paper conservators to per- 
form necessary work on materials of special worth and to amplify the 
effectiveness of the in-house conservation staff. 

Decisions in the Local Library 117 

While these six points provide at least a description of what can be done 
now to permit an institution to deal with its collections and their physical 
deterioration thoughtfully and appropriately, they are offered neither as a 
preservation program nor as a cure for brittleness. These are simply tech- 
niques that libraries have utilized and are utilizing to deal with materials as 
they age and become increasingly subject to embrittlement. Taken as a 
whole, these techniques require a continued sizable allocation of resources 
for the personnel, space, equipment and supplies required to make possi- 
ble the attempt to handle collections without creating new preservation 
problems or exacerbating problems which already may exist. Such tech- 
niques will remain primary elements in efforts to get the most use out of 
library materials. 

All six of these elements name staff or assume personnel as a primary 
active agent. Personnel is expensive and will remain so. Almost every 
aspect of preservation is labor-intensive. The continued dependence upon 
sheet-by-sheet techniques of paper preservation makes this basic activity so 
expensive that it is common practice to put it off as long as possible. 
Furthermore, library conservators are in such small supply that each 
would possibly be responsible for a group of libraries if we had a truly 
comprehensive program of preservation. A stated objective of computeri- 
zation has been to permit the shifting of personnel from purely recordkeep- 
ing activities to activity needing human interaction and skill. While it may 
be hoped that some staff in libraries may be transferred to preservation 
work as computerization proceeds, the continued pressures of inadequate 
funding and inflation are such that this may be achieved, if ever, only with 
great difficulty. 

Equipment for preservation work can range from the relatively simple 
and not especially costly to the rather elaborate and relatively more expen- 
sive depending upon the level of operation reached in a given library. 
While beginnings can be made with relatively simple equipment, a facility 
capable of a full range of activities and of efficient operation requires a 
major commitment of resources; and, if a photographic facility capable of 
providing quality products is included, the amount needed is still greater. 

One of the marks of preservation work is that it retains old techniques 
which continue to meet its evolving criteria, together with the equipment 
needed to utilize them, as it adopts scientific ways and adapts both the 
equipment and the techniques of modern science to its purposes. Thus, 
leaves of a seventeenth -century volume may be hand cleaned using a 
traditional technique; deacidified in a plexiglass tank designed in the 
1970s using a deacidification solution also recently developed; repaired 
with a handmade paper, the maker of which still uses methods predating 
the industrial era; sewn by hand on a sewing frame identical to those used 
in the fourteenth century; covered with African tanned goatskin using 

118 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

almost prehistoric tanning methods, stamped using binder's tools one to 
three centuries of age; and stored in stacks with twentieth -century protec- 
tion and environmental control systems. In some libraries, such a volume 
may be used on an eighteenth -century table or desk beneath a portrait of 
the author painted from life. Thus it is that a preservation workshop may 
resemble both a contemporary science laboratory and a workshop in which 
a seventeenth- or eighteenth -century book binder would feel quite at home. 
A library moving into preservation may find that it already owns a consid- 
erable portion of the requisite equipment and that it is but necessary to 
reorganize its activities and add particular items needed to bring a preserva- 
tion facility up to present-day expectations. 

Supplies are continually required to keep an active program stocked 
with materials necessary for the full range of services to be rendered. Those 
doing the work are continually making inquiries of their suppliers for 
particular materials while the suppliers are continually adding to the 
range of items listed for sale. Also, these vendors will frequently fabricate 
items in sizes and shapes required for particular projects which permits a 
library to complete the work without having to adapt folders, envelopes, 
binders or other materials to the needs of the project. In recent years the 
escalation in the provision of convenience materials has proved most 
helpful to those faced with projects of considerable size and limited staff 
time to get the job done. Paper of all kinds has become increasingly 
expensive and the acid-free papers needed by conservators, together with 
other preservation products have not been exceptions. However, while 
prices have been increasing, the selection of materials as a whole has been 
improving. Production and availability of acid-free paper have increased 
in just the last few years. While the need for supplies is a continuing one, 
the needs of a particular conservation program will vary as the tasks vary, 
and institutions must be able to afford these materials if preservation 
programs are to continue. 

Space as it relates to preservation is to be thought of in several different 
ways: space for the collections; space for the users of the collections; and 
space for working with the collections. Each should be adequate for its 
function. Storage space, or space for the collections, in particular, is a 
primary preservation element, and storage areas should conform to the 
criteria of temperature, humidity, light control, cleanliness, etc., which 
have been spelled out in the preservation literature. The same criteria 
apply also to reader space and to staff work space. In addition, the latter 
may also be subject to additional criteria for there is need for controlled 
ventilation to provide safe work areas for those using solvents and other 
chemicals required for some paper treatments. Space, like staff, is expen- 
sive, and must be used carefully. 

Decisions in the Local Library 119 

Binding is, and will remain, basic to a well-conceived preservation 
program. It is not unusual to find incomplete and unbound periodical 
issues on library shelves in relatively poor condition while adjacent to 
them are similar issues of the same age which were bound while relatively 
new and which have survived in far better condition. Coupling binding 
and deacidification is a logical step once mass deacidification is available. 
If this is done, even on a selective basis, a longer usefulness is rather quickly 
assured for significant parts of research collections. Coupling the two 
operations has the advantage of achieving two major preservation opera- 
tions with one handling, thereby helping to control labor costs. 

With this brief consideration of linking deacidification with binding, 
I have slipped into the future, and it is there that I wish to continue. A 
second future development which seems to be more or less assured is an 
increased dependence on microforms as a preservation device. While 
microforms are not new, and while preservation is not a new use for them, 
there is growing emphasis on using microforms to preserve intellectual 
content when it is impossible or impractical to preserve original docu- 
ments. The growth of cooperative programs to spread the burden of 
filming and to prevent needless duplication of effort in making micro- 
forms is both logical and desirable. 

Other developments looming in the future are some consideration of 
nonprint and nonpaper media. While preservation-minded individuals 
have been learning how to preserve paper, libraries have broadened their 
missions to incorporate other newer media each of which has its own 
preservation needs and requirements; and still newer media continue to 
appear. The degree to which individual libraries will be called upon to 
preserve these materials has yet to be determined. Several of the newer 
media, in contrast with printed materials, would seem to be comparatively 
easily reproduced from master copies held by the issuing agencies or in a 
central depository so that availability may not become the problem it is 
with printed items. Major problems will likely be found in relation to 
collections of unique media materials such as sound transcriptions of local 
radio productions or recordings of important but noncommercial musical 
productions in university concert halls and similar facilities. Similarly, 
unique television and film materials from local stations and production 
facilities may also present problems to conservators and curators in widely 
scattered sites. All of these will require decisions and may generate preser- 
vation programs of their own as, indeed, some of them are already doing. 

This completes my list of the three basic epistemological questions: 
(1) "Should a library preserve or conserve materials?"; (2) "What should be 
preserved?"; and (3) "How will they be preserved?" These are broad ques- 
tions which involve all kinds of libraries, all levels of library staff, many 
library users and others involved in the affairs of the larger institutions to 

120 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

which many libraries are attached. Each of these three questions has 
numerous subsidiary questions a number of which have been considered 

Technical Questions or Decisions 

As we move now to the technical or physical questions as Boorstin 
termed them, the emphasis will change somewhat. These matters relate 
more directly to the materials themselves and to what is to be done to them 
or with them than was true for the epistemological questions. Many of us 
are probably more comfortable and more at home in this area; however, if 
diis discussion centers too much on particular problems and techniques 
for dealing widi them, there is a danger that it may become too specific. 
Therefore detailed consideration of specific problems will be avoided as 
much as possible. 

The basic problem area here is that of deciding to preserve die artifact 
itself, to preserve its intellectual content, or to attempt both. While techni- 
cally almost any paper document in almost any condition, short of its 
being ash or dust, may be saved, the value of the document and the expense 
of preservation may be such that it is so impractical as to be impossible. 
Since we all must deal with practicalities, we must decide when the point of 
impracticality or impossibility is reached. In the working world of preser- 
vation the decision is frequently to preserve the intellectual content simply 
because the preservation of the original document is so expensive and the 
need for it so marginal that retention of the document becomes too great a 
luxury. Preserving the intellectual content of a document may be done in 
any one of several ways depending upon the particular situation. Alterna- 
tives include the following: 

1. Procurement of a replacement copy if available; 

2. Procurement of a copy of another or a later edition, if available and if 
suitable for the needs of the library; 

3. Procurement of an electrostatic copy made from the worn original or 
from another copy in better physical condition; 

4. Procurement of a microcopy or some other technologically more 
advanced reproduction. 

Each of these ways of replacing materials presents its own set of problems. 
Buying either a new copy or a copy of a new edition requires that the title be 
in print or available on the used book market. Since the majority of titles 
stay in print for limited periods and relatively few titles ever appear in 
other than the original edition, the use of new copies to replace worn-out 
volumes becomes problematic for all save the most basic or most popular 
materials. The used book market, while helpful, requires time for searches 

Decisions in the Local Library 121 

which are often expensive and not always successful. Serials tend to 
become unavailable even more rapidly in many cases than do monographs, 
and the time and expense of acquiring a sizable backfile on the used book 
market can become quite large very quickly. 

Electrostatic copies also are not without their difficulties. Free and 
easy copying within libraries of materials under copyright and available 
for sale is controlled by the copyright law, so care in reproduction is 
needed. Old faded or stained materials tend not to copy well, and there are 
problems of size and extra bulk in some cases. 4 Despite these problems and 
despite their cost, electrostatic copies are useful in many situations. 

Preserving intellectual content by use of microforms is a recognized 
preservation technique and preservation microfilming is a term which has 
become commonplace in our vocabularies for a number of years. The use 
of film assumes that the materials which are to be so preserved are appro- 
priate in the new format, that is, the material is largely textual and can be 
useful in other than paper form. Filming within a library, purchasing a 
film from another library, or purchasing a film from a commercial vendor 
are all common and accepted means of reducing brittle and bulky originals 
to film. If filming is done within a library, a master negative should be 
made, registered in the National Register of Microform Masters, 5 and 
stored under appropriate conditions to serve as the basis of future copies. If 
film is acquired elsewhere, it should be safe to assume that a master 
negative exists in the vault of the vendor. There are two advantages in 
addition to the purely preservation aspect of preservation microfilming. 
First, film reduces bulk and helps libraries free space for more recent and 
presumably more heavily used volumes; and second, it provides the basis 
for the ready preparation of additional copies. In late 1979, as part of the 
work of the Task Force on the Preservation of the Association of Research 
Libraries (ARL) Collection Analysis Project in the Library of the Univer- 
sity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a very limited survey comparing 
costs of filming and binding periodicals was undertaken. This survey 
revealed that microfilm copies available from commercial sources com- 
pared favorably in cost with binding, but that those requiring original 
filming were two to five or more times more costly than binding. 6 If 
libraries can organize preservation microfilming so as to divide the work of 
filming and making master negatives and then sell or trade service copies, 
the cost of the initial filming can be spread over many institutions and 
copies of useful and valuable resource materials can be made available 
much more economically than would be possible if libraries attempt to 
work independently. In this area bibliographical control becomes crucial 
as we have already been reminded several times in this conference. 

Microfiche also has promise in preservation and dissemination of 
deteriorating and scarce materials. Like film, microfiche, once a master 

122 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

negative is made, are easily and inexpensively copied. As institutions 
become increasingly interdependent and the lending of materials from 
institution to institution increases, microfiche would seem to be an excel- 
lent medium to permit dissemination of monographic materials, in partic- 
ular, without subjecting aging and fragile originals to cross country 
transfer. This would simultaneously fill the needs of library users; provide 
master negatives of old and fragile materials, thereby lifting from them 
much of the wear and tear of use; and lighten the load on delivery systems 
since microfiche could be mailed as letter mail at much less cost than is 
involved in transporting the originals. 

There are many instances when it is desirable both to prepare a 
microform and to retain the original. This is a practical way to make the 
content of rare books, manuscripts and other scarce, unique, or valuable 
materials available to users while taking the pressure of the use off the 
originals. This technique has been used widely both library to library and 
on a commercial scale. All of these reasons lie behind the inclusion of 
increasingly comprehensive photographic services as a major part of pres- 
ervation programs. 

Because everything can be expected to wear out, preservation is actu- 
ally an attempt to make materials last as long as possible. Doing this is the 
general province of librarians as preservation policy is shaped and as 
particular approaches are adopted within libraries to achieve particular 
preservation objectives. As these techniques have tended to become more 
specialized and as the special techniques have required particular skills, 
preservation specialists and conservators have taken their places on library 
staffs. At some risk of leaving out or slighting some aspect of the preserva- 
tion task, but in an effort to keep this presentation within necessary space 
limits, the following broad categories of preservation activity are indicated 
and described briefly: 

1. Preventive Measures: 

These measures are those things a library does or can do to reduce or 
halt certain kinds of wear and tear such as the training of staff to handle 
books and other library materials to prevent damage while shelving, 
transporting them on book trucks, packaging them for mailing, etc. Also 
included are good housekeeping to prevent infestations of insects, rodents, 
mildew and other problems in storage areas. Also to be considered here are 
the design and use of book returns which minimize wear and tear and the 
institution of safe storage conditions characterized initially as canons of 
the gospel of preservation having to do with temperature, humidity, light 
control and other environmental control measures. 

Decisions in the Local Library 123 

2. Binding: 

Binding is a basic preservation measure which provides essential 
physical protection and organization. Binding and rebinding are essential 
considerations in any preservation program. 

3. Storage Techniques: 

These techniques may be either temporary or permanent in their 
application to particular items or collections. They include tying volumes 
or groups of related items with tapes; wrapping and tying materials; tying 
materials between boards; inserting volumes into boxes; putting fragile 
materials into folders within boxes, portfolios, or boards, as well as many 
variations on these basic techniques which exclude light, dust, dirt, and 
polluted air. Such techniques provide physical protection and make it 
possible to shelve or otherwise store materials for extended periods of time. 
They may be used as interim measures to buy time while decisions regard- 
ing ultimate preservation are made, or they may be more or less permanent 
in and of themselves as in the case of rare books, collections of art prints, 
archives, and other similar materials. The use of acid-free wrappings, 
board, folders and other protective materials is mandatory if storage tech- 
niques are to be safely applied over long periods of time. 

4. Paper Preservation: 

Under this heading are a group of procedures the purpose of which is 
to increase strength and lengthen the period of usefulness of paper. Paper 
can be cleaned, washed, mended, recast, mounted, split, deacidified, re- 
sized, strengthened, laminated, and encapsulated, to name some, but not 
all, possible treatments. At their best, these processes can seemingly achieve 
miraculous results. Old, worn, dirty, stained, dog-eared and deteriorated 
papers may be restored to much of their original appearance and to some of 
their original durability. At their worst, attempts at these processes can 
become almost hideous parodies of the best applications and can be more 
destructive than leaving materials untreated. Paper preservation intended 
to be long-lasting should be done by those with skill, training, and expe- 
rience in the work. The essential difficulty with paper preservation tech- 
niques is that they are very labor-intensive and, therefore, inherently 
expensive. There are, however, no real substitutes for them, though new 
techniques and materials continue to be developed which increase the 
efficiency with which these techniques may be applied. 

5. Book Repairs: 

Repairs range from relatively simple processes to more elaborate 
operations all designed to keep books in use. They are effective both in 
reducing binding costs by extending the usefulness of existing bindings 
and in permitting the retention of old bindings, thereby retaining the 
original structure and keeping appearance relatively unchanged. Such 

124 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

repairs include tightening and repairing hinges, rehanging volumes in 
existing cases, repairing cases and reattaching them to the contents, and 
restoring worn bindings. All such operations are applicable to volumes 
made of paper, cloth and board. Volumes with leather or part leather 
bindings can be similarly repaired, restored, refurbished and returned to 
use, but they require particular attention to the leather, and, when repairs 
become more elaborate than simple cleaning and leather treatment, 
increasing levels of training and experience are needed. Book repairs, like 
paper preservation, are comparatively expensive because they require 
piece -by-piece application. They can be almost miraculous in their result 
when done by those with skill, training and experience. Similarly, when 
done by the unskilled or untrained, they can be ruinous and more destruc- 
tive than leaving the book untreated. 

6. Disaster Control: 

What to do when fire, water, windstorm or other calamity strikes or 
threatens the collections of an institution is included here because of its 
importance in preserving collections. Planning for disaster requires par- 
ticipation of staff at all levels and in all parts of a library, and implement- 
ing plans when disaster strikes may involve not only library staff, but 
emergency service personnel, administration from outside the library, 
volunteers and others as well. At the heart of this planning and of its 
application should be those who know what to do the conservator and 
conservation staff. These persons cannot be expected to deal with all that 
must be done when whole collections are involved, but they can provide 
the nucleus of knowledge needed to inform and coordinate the efforts of 
others in salvaging materials successfully. 

This is a listing of basic areas of decision making related to preserva- 
tion of materials in libraries. Time and space constraints prevent delving 
more deeply into details of particular problems or processes. As with the 
treatment of epistemological questions, the consideration of technical 
questions was reduced to a consideration of a small number of basic areas, 
first, the preservation of intellectual content; and second, the preservation 
of the physical object. There are major decision areas involved in both of 
these, several of which have been indicated. 

Boorstin's two-part characterization 7 of library preservation has been 
found to be a practical device for organizing this presentation, permitting 
the pulling together, in a particular order, of five basic questions or 
problem areas without consideration of administrative, operational, or 
other factors which might tend to relate to a particular kind of library or 
institution. These five broad areas are interrelated and their presentation 
includes the repetition of some elements under both major divisions. Such 
repetition was necessary as these questions were conceived, because it is 

Decisions in the Local Library 125 

necessary that those making decisions affecting preservation but not par- 
ticularly involved in day-to-day preservation activity have some knowl- 
edge of what is possible at the technical level and because the technical and 
operational staff must have some knowledge of the constraints and consid- 
erations affecting administrative decisions. Both the development of pre- 
servation policy and actually doing the work require contributions from 
all parts of the library. Users, administrators, curatorial or collection 
servicing staff, and preservation staff all must be involved for any part of it 
to work. Policy determination also requires ongoing cooperation in order 
that the policies be kept up to date reflecting and responding to the realities 
being experienced by all these groups. While preservation staff may have 
the words preservation or conservation in their titles, all those connected 
with a library are involved in preservation by virtue of their own titles, 
because all those connected with a library are involved in preservation in 
some way and to some degree; and all should have a voice in the develop- 
ment of preservation policy together with an understanding of that policy 
and their own part in its implementation. In addition, several levels of 
understanding of preservation processes and techniques are needed. The 
knowledge and proficiency of those involved in doing preservation work of 
a highly technical nature need not be shared by all other staff in order that 
the others may make appropriate and valuable contributions to the preser- 
vation policy and preservation program of an institution. Boorstin's char- 
acterization permits the making of these distinctions and this is one of its 
strengths. It is hoped that others will find it helpful and useful. 

This presentation was introduced by the recounting of an experience 
in which a single old pamphlet was rescued from oblivion and a usable 
service copy prepared as its replacement on the shelves of a library. The 
major point of that account was the involvement of a number of people in 
the preservation process. I wish to close the presentation with an account of 
another preservation process. Like the introductory story this one, too, 
includes a number of people working at various points within a large 
library. It also includes several individuals from outside the library, and it 
is a preliminary report on the use of an industrial fungicide, orthophenyl- 
phenol, to combat a mildew infestation in a large and valuable collection. 

In the autumn and early winter of 1980, mildew was found on the 
bindings of a limited number of volumes in one portion of the rare book 
collection of the library of the University of Illinois at Urbana- 
Champaign. Some of the first mildew found was removed with a dustcloth, 
and some found later was removed using a solution of thymol in alcohol. 
Subsequent infestation was found scattered over volumes on a single range 
of shelving; and, while attempts were underway to treat it with thymol 
vapor under a polyethylene tent, further infestations were found through- 

126 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

out several parts of the stack area occupied by the rare book collections. 
These early evidences were on spines of bindings and other exposed edges 
of volumes. Some, growing on upper edges, seemed in some instances to be 
confined to incidental soil and dust which had accumulated on seldom 
used volumes. Ironically, the Rare Book stack is one of two storage areas in 
the library system which have, for approximately a decade, had controlled 
environmental conditions at least approximating those generally recog- 
nized as desirable or ideal. With the finding of the later rather widespread 
infestations, it was realized that without some more adequate means of 
control than spot treatment with thymol, the infestation would become 
worse and damage to the collections would be severe. 

Contact was made with those responsible for the operation of the air 
handling system and their aid in controlling humidity sought. A campus 
mycologist sampled and identified the particular mold involved as a 
typical penicillium-type storage mold, and a phone call asking for help 
was placed to the Preservation Department of the Library of Congress. The 
call was referred to Dr. Robert E. McComb, a physical scientist on the staff 
of the department, who listened to my description of our problem and 
outlined a program of control. He recommended the use of orthophenyl- 
phenol (o-phenylphenol) as a control agent. This compound is much less 
expensive than thymol, vaporizes at room temperature at a rate sufficient 
to control infestations of the type we were fighting, and is not toxic to 
humans at the concentrations created by such vaporization. This com- 
pound is marketed in the United States by the Dow Chemical Company 
under the trade name Dowicide 1 . In Britain it is marketed under the trade 
name Topane. 8 

Dr. McComb described the industrial uses of o-phenylphenol and 
outlined a mildew control program based on its use which included the 
following points. This initial oral recommendation was subsequently 
confirmed by letter 9 and is summarized as follows: 

1 . Distribute o-phenylphenol throughout the area placing one or more 
small containers on each bookshelf. 

2. Distribute o-phenylphenol in the air supply system by placing two or 
three small containers of it in each air supply vent. 

3. Refill the containers at intervals of approximately three weeks, or more 
frequently as needed. 

4. Cease any routine dusting, sweeping or similar cleaning in the area. 

5. During the initial three months of treatment, clean floors, furniture, 
and other equipment, if at all, with a solution of one cup Lysol per 
gallon of water or one-half cup borax per gallon of water. Workers must 
wear rubber gloves and protect skin from either solution to prevent 
chemical burns. 

Decisions in the Local Library 127 

6. After three months, mildew should be killed and may be removed from 
bindings using a 10 percent solution of orthophenylphenol in dena- 
tured ethyl alcohol. Workers must wear rubber gloves and protect skin 
from the solution to prevent burning. Cloths used in cleaning should be 
turned and changed frequently to prevent spreading dirt and stain from 
volume to volume. 

7. After six months, vacuum cleaning may be resumed, and it may be used 
to clean books if desired if a wet/dry vacuum cleaner charged with a 
solution of one-half cup Lysol in one-half gallon of water is used. The 
filter of the vacuum should be thoroughly soaked with the fungicide 
solution to impregnate it thoroughly with fungicide. 

This program was discussed within the library and checked out with 
the campus Division of Environmental Health and Safety which approved 
the use of o-phenylphenol in the fashion indicated. With the arrival of the 
first drum of 100 pounds of o-phenylphenol, the initial distribution of 
crystals was begun using three-ounce paper cups and surplus cardboard 
microfilm containers. The initial distribution was made by the staff of the 
Binding and Preservation Division in work sessions of about forty-five 
minutes to one hour each. All together nearly ten thousand small contain- 
ers were employed to achieve distribution to all the shelves in the stack area 
dedicated to rare book collections. The initial order of fungicide provided 
coverage for about 60 percent of the shelves. A second drum of similar size 
was needed to permit us to complete the shelf-by-shelf distribution, as well 
as providing a reserve to permit refilling of cups and providing a supply for 
the ventilation system. 

With completion of the shelf-by-shelf coverage, placing o- 
phenylphenol in the air ducts was initiated. A sample of the crystals was 
provided for the manager of the campus Operations and Maintenance 
Division unit responsible for operation of central air-conditioning equip- 
ment together with an outline of the mildew control program recom- 
mended by Dr. McComb. The air-conditioning manager indicated that it 
would require several days to check the compound in the technical labora- 
tory maintained in his division and to determine its possible effects upon 
the air-handling equipment. While this check was in progress, he would 
review the design of the equipment involved to determine whether or not it 
might be possible to introduce the compound at a central point more easily 
and efficiently than at the individual vents. 

At this time the project entered a new phase, as concern about possible 
risks of o-phenylphenol in the atmosphere reached a peak. A few members 
of the Rare Book Room staff became alarmed at the introduction of the 
chemical into the rare book storage area, fearing it would be a hazard to 
those working there; and the matter was reported to a Labor Education 

128 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Program group operating in the University's Institute of Labor and Indus- 
trial Relations. A staff member from this group investigated the project 
and consulted with an industrial hygienist on the staff of the institute who 
provided data on phenol and its compounds, including both o- 
phenylphenol and thymol, found in chemical handbooks and similar 
information sources. In working with these individuals we began to gain a 
somewhat broader view of the limits of knowledge of the effects of these 
chemicals. We had known for some years that certain individuals on our 
staff were somewhat more subject to nose and throat irritation by thymol 
vapor than were others; and Dr. McComb had indicated in our initial 
phone conversation that typically one person in ten thousand experiences 
some degree of allergic reactions to o-phenylphenol. As a consequence we 
had cautioned all those working with either compound to be aware of the 
possibility of irritation and to get out of contact with either should they 
experience any difficulty. Combining what we have learned about both 
thymol and o-phenylphenol from all sources, Environmental Health and 
Safety, the Industrial Hygienist, Dr. McComb, and our own experience, we 
have concluded that both compounds if used with care should ordinarily 
not prove hazardous. Direct contact with solutions of either should be 
avoided by use of rubber gloves and other protective clothing. Individuals 
who experience any discomfort when in contact with the vapors should get 
into fresh air. Persons with existing upper respiratory irritation are subject 
to increased irritation by either compound and should not subject them- 
selves to either any more than necessary. Normal working periods in 
contact with either are usually limited to no more than an hour without a 
break taken in fresh air. Finally, all who will come into contact with the 
vapor are informed of its nature and possible effects and are instructed to 
leave the area if they become uncomfortable. No one is required to work 
with either compound. 

As the problems of exposure to o-phenylphenol were still being dis- 
cussed, the air-conditioning manager reported negatively to the request to 
place the compound in the ductwork, indicating that his conclusion was 
based upon two reasons: first, it was feared that o-phenylphenol might 
cause damage to the ductwork or other components of the air-handling 
system should any of it come into direct contact with the equipment; and 
secondly, it was feared that vaporizing the compound within the air system 
might increase its concentration in the atmosphere of the stack area too 
much to assure a safe environment for those working there. This develop- 
ment came as the school year was ending and as our student staff was 
dispersing for the summer. Labor for routine refilling of cups was scarce 
throughout most of the summer, though some effort was made to use 
occasionally available student help to refill cups from time to time. 

Decisions in the Local Library 129 

By the time school resumed in late summer, it was apparent that our 
efforts had been insufficient to hold the mildew in abeyance. The staff of 
the Rare Book Room began to note increasing signs of mildew, some of it 
on front and back covers of volumes where they had been shelved snugly 
together, whereas most evidences found earlier had been on spines, upper 
edges and other similarly exposed surfaces. Some cups were empty or 
nearly so; and, in many which still contained what appeared to be suffi- 
cient o-phenylphenol to generate effective quantities of vapor, crystals 
were found to be sticking together or coalescing to form large chunks 
which apparently no longer vaporized fast enough to release sufficient 
vapor to be effective. Clearance was obtained to hire a student to devote ten 
hours per week to refilling cups, stirring those in which crystals were 
sticking together, and to begin routine cleaning of volumes using a 
wet/dry vacuum charged with Lysol solution. In addition, immediately 
after the student began work on a regular basis, small cheesecloth bags of 
o-phenylphenol were made up and suspended in front of the air supply 
vents with priority being given to those parts of the area in which mildew 
had been observed to be most prevalent. This program brought to an 
apparent halt further spread, and the initiation of the vacuuming program 
began to remove not only evidences of mildew but much accumulated soil 
and dust which had been providing germination sites for at least some of 
the mildew. In addition to these efforts, thymol solution and rubber gloves 
were provided for use by Rare Book Room staff in cleaning individual 
volumes found in need of it in the normal course of the operation of the 
Rare Book Room. Also, with the beginning of the 1981/82 heating season, 
the humidity level was operated at no more than 40 percent relative 
humidity rather than 50 percent which had been the objective for several 
years. The result of these efforts has been that no further outbreaks of 
mildew have been observed in the collections. 

Many discussions attempting to identify the cause or causes of this 
outbreak of mildew have taken place, but no single factor or event has 
emerged as the culprit. By reconstructing the history of the operation of the 
air-handling system as best as it can be done from the memories of the staff 
of the Rare Book Room and some of the Operation and Maintenance staff 
who have serviced the system and by including in the consideration a 
number of other factors relating to mildew in general and to this library in 
particular, a general conclusion has been drawn that the area was inadver- 
tently over-humidified for a sufficient period to permit mildew to begin to 
grow. A series of malfunctions of the air-handling system, which resulted 
in excessive humidification; consistent attempts through several winter 
seasons to maintain 50 percent relative humidity; and the design of the 
system as part of a larger air-conditioning system operated primarily to 
provide comfort air conditioning in the non-stack portions of the Univer- 

130 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

sity Library building which cause it to maintain summer humidity no 
lower than 60 percent and to operate with untreated air for extended 
periods in spring and fall, all seem to have combined to provide the 
environment needed to cause the problem. 

O-phenylphenol has proved to be an effective part of the mildew 
control program when the library staff has been able to keep an adequate 
supply of the chemical in the affected areas. Its use, coupled with humidity 
control and a continuing cleaning program, serves both to inhibit spread 
of mildew and to prevent the start of new infestations. 

The foregoing narrative is quite condensed and does not clearly indi- 
cate the parts played by all who have been involved. Mildew was first seen 
and reported by a student assistant retrieving a volume for patron use. 
Professional and support staff in the Rare Book Room have been involved 
in every phase of the struggle. Library administrators cleared the way to 
acquire o-phenylphenol, suggested calling in a mycologist, and approved 
the hiring of extra student staff. Library business office staff and campus 
Purchasing Division staff expedited orders for fungicide and related sup- 
plies. The entire staff of the Binding and Preservation Division helped 
with the initial distribution of fungicide. Janitorial and maintenance staff 
altered work routines and schedules. Operation and Maintenance Division 
staff provided information about and service on the air-handling system. 
The Labor Education Program and Environmental Health and Safety 
staffs provided information and counsel. And, perhaps most important, 
Dr. McComb shared with the library information at his disposal concern- 
ing a new technique for using o-phenylphenol in a library situation. This 
experience is continuing, and the final word recounting it will not be 
written for some time, but this progress report illustrates again the need for 
involvement of people at many levels, with many skills and with many 
points of view to provide for the preservation and protection of library 


1. Boorstin, Daniel J. "Welcoming Remarks." In A National Preservation Program; 
Proceedings of the Planning Conference. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1980, p. 12. 

2. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, unabridged, s.v. "epistemology." 

3. Boorstin, "Welcoming Remarks." 

4. Bork, Helga. "Microforms." In Preservation of Library Materials, edited by 
Joyce R. Russell, pp. 71-76. New York: Special Libraries Association, 1980. 

5. National Register of Microform Masters. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 
1976- . 

6. Austin, Mardell, and Henderson, William T. "A Comparison of the Costs of Binding 
and Microfilming Periodicals." In Report of the Task Force on Preservation. University of 
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Collection Analysis Project, 1980, p. 169. 

Decisions in the Local Library 131 

7. Boorstin, "Welcoming Remarks." 

8. Horton, Carolyn. "Saving the Libraries of Florence." Wilson Library Bulletin 
41(June 1967): 1043. 

9. McComb to Henderson, personal communication, 17 April 1981. 


Baynes-Cope, A.D. Caring for Books and Documents. London: British Museum Publica- 
tions, 1981. 

Clapp, Verner W. The Story of Permanent /Durable Book-Paper, 1115-1970 (Restaurator 
Suppl. No. 3). Copenhagen: Restaurator Press, 1972. 

Council on Library Resources. Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity. 
"Interim Report on Book Paper." Washington, D.C.: CLR, 1981. 

Mucci, Paul. Paper and Leather Conservation; A Manual, edited by Mary Boccaccio. Mid- 
Atlantic Regional Archive Conference, 1978. 

Swartzburg, Susan G. Preserving Library Materials; A Manual. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow 
Press, 1980. 


Douglas DeLong (Library, Illinois State University, Bloomington): You 
made reference to, in the future, combining regular commercial binding 
and deacidification. Do you feel there will be any problems with the typical 
oversewing methods used by most commercial binders e.g., the threads 
that are used in this deacidification process? In other words, twenty years 
down the road, will the threads be falling out and the papers be fine? What 
are your thoughts on this? 

William T Henderson: We all know what happens with existing papers 
and sewing. If we can slow down or halt the degradation of paper we can 
perhaps lengthen its life and the sewing technique won't be so all- 
important as it has tended to be with some materials in the past. Another 
thing I'm heartened by is the fact that we are getting away from the very 
heavy use of oversewing as it has been used for many years. A broader array 
of kinds of sewing and other techniques are available than was previously 
the case, and the use of adhesive bindings seems to hold promise for future 
usefulness as well as giving us volumes that open easily now. 

Gerald Gibson (Library of Congress, Washingtion, D.C.): Would you talk 
about fumigation, and, secondly, about ink and the effect that ink has itself 
and in combination with other materials? 

Henderson: I'm not all that knowledgeable about either ink or fumigation. 
On the latter, I can't say much except to say that we've been fortunate here 
and in my experience in not having too much difficulty with the kinds of 
problems that call for massive amounts of fumigation. Available informa- 

132 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

tion about the UIUC Library, some of which predates me by a long while, 
indicates that the Library has had small mildew problems from time to 
time. For some reason we seem not to have been bothered by insects and we 
also have reasonably tight buildings and have not had too much of a 
problem with rodents. For mildew control in the recent past we have 
depended primarily upon thymol. At one time we used mercuric chloride 
which we gave up very quickly when we found out what it did to paper if 
too much was used. I'm becoming more interested in the use of Dowicide 
because I think the problem in our Rare Book Room stack is going to be 
with us as long as we have our present ventilation system. I'll have to beg 
off regarding inks because I simply don't know. 

Gibson: Is ink, then, not particularly a problem with paper materials? It 
certainly is a problem with nonpaper materials with the combination of 
dyes and inks that are fixed to, as I mentioned in my session, a paper label 
on a sound recording. There is a major complication. 

Henderson: Some inks, as I have had a chance to think a little more, 
particularly the old iron gall inks that were widely used in manuscript 
materials, can give rise to problems if they were not properly made in the 
first place. They can, in such cases, become quite acid and over a long 
period cause browning and embrittlement and, finally, destruction of the 
paper. Printer's ink, as it has typically been put together and as I under- 
stand it, is basically carbon which essentially lays on the paper more or less 
indefinitely. Some writers have mentioned problems stemming from other 
particular types of inks. As for phonograph record labels and other mate- 
rials of similar nature, I suspect that the colored dyes used are probably the 
cause of the problems, or at least a part of the cause. I think these are some 
of the things that you probably would find would vary almost from one 
printer's lot to another. I doubt if any record producer ever tried to fix a 
particular standard or recipe for dyes used in making their labels. Don 
[Krummel], can you lend some aid here? 

D.W. Krummel (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Let me add a note on this, 
and then an appeal. As far as I know nobody is very much bothered about 
ink. I'm not sure why. Somehow I think we should be but I don't think any 
of us are. The one area where I think it is a problem is with photographs, 
and there, of course, it's not ink as used by printers. But the printing 
material is a problem when it comes to deteriorating photographic copies. 

Henderson: Louise Kuflick has just told me that she will be mentioning 
ink this afternoon in her presentation. She and those she works with have 
found that it sometimes presents some problems in doing some of the 
deacidification processes. 

Decisions in the Local Library 133 

Gibson: May I talk some more about ink? One problem, particularly with 
manuscripts (which is completely out of my area of work) but I would 
caution people in deacidifying, especially manuscripts is to make sure 
that the ink you're treating is not going to be soluble with whatever you're 
using. The manuscript of Berg's opera Wozzeck in the Library of Congress 
has some beautiful comments in the composer's hand in the manuscript 
and in the margin of the manuscript in red ink. The paper was tested. The 
ink which he had used to write the manuscript and the pencil marks he 
used have been tested, but the red ink wasn't tested. In the deacidification 
process a number of the pages of this manuscript are a beautiful baby pink. 
The comments are no longer in existence. There was a microfilm made of it 
before it was deacidified but the original simply does not carry the informa- 
tion anymore. So be particularly careful in deacidifying. 



Carolyn Horton and Associates 
New York, New York 

The decision to conserve has already been made when a book is brought to 
a conservation studio. It means that the material has been found to have 
some intrinsic or artifactual value. What to conserve is the decision of the 
librarian, the archivist, or the bibliophile. How to conserve it is fundamen- 
tally the decision of the conservator, often made in conjunction with the 
custodian of the material or at least with his/her consent. All decisions are 
made after a careful examination and testing of the material and a thought- 
ful assessment of the techniques available. Unfortunately, the question of 
cost must enter into the discussion because book and paper conservation is 
a craft almost entirely executed by hand. Conservators employ time- 
honored techniques, sometimes supplemented by modern technological 
advances, but always guided by the principle of reversibility in deference to 
the historical, cultural or aesthetic importance of the materials with which 
they deal and with an awareness of the possibility that some better tech- 
nique or material may come along later in this developing field. 

Conservators generally find librarians to be far more understanding of 
the nature and needs of the materials than some kinds of clients, who may 
want things completed yesterday and whose ethics are often of a questiona- 
ble nature not caring to see things in the long term but merely wanting a 
book "held together" so that it can be sold quickly or repaired inexpen- 
sively. We can hold it together, reattaching boards quickly, but that book 
will not be able to stand on the shelf very long nor have its covers opened 
too many times. And what about the state of the paper inside? In fact, 
perhaps the book or document even looks more venerable and valuable 
with the dirt and grime. How ethical are requests to make repairs "invisi- 
ble," to remove plates or bookplates or change flyleaves or separate parts of 


136 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

a manuscript? The clearly unethical nature of some requests make them 
easy to turn down, but requests to execute partial repairs, where more 
extensive work is required, is often a problem to conservators, who see the 
book as a functional object and are committed to the "restoration of 
function" as well as to producing a harmonious repair or restoration. 1 I 
speak, too, of the book lover who cannot afford the proper type of repair or 
rebinding and for this reason selects historically or aethetically unsuitable 

Let us examine the types of decisions that are made in a conservation 
studio by following a book through the steps it undergoes in the conserva- 
tion/restoration process. 

First, the monetary value of an item, or to use the proper phrase, the 
"limit of liability" must be established by the custodian. The conservator 
should express no opinion in the matter and the value of the material 
should in no way affect the quality of the work rendered by the conservator 
nor should it influence the cost of the repair. 2 How realistic this principle 
is raises an issue of concern to conservators because the cost of the conserva- 
tion work can often far exceed the worth of the item. On the other hand, an 
item of sentimental or personal value, but of no monetary value, is often 

The book is now given a preliminary physical examination and the 
usual bibliographic information is noted along with the type of binding. 
Of special significance, when it comes time to estimate the cost, will be the 
size and number of leaves. Then the pH of the paper is taken. Under the 
heading "Condition When Received" everything of significance that can 
be observed is described, e.g., the state of the paper, especially its tensile 
strength as revealed by folding a corner. Other aspects, too, are noted such 
as water or dirt stained or discolored paper; trimming; printing on the 
right grain; the presence of mold, foxing, worm holes, or tape, and the 
condition of the sewing. If there are inks, they must be tested. The presence 
of protective sheets and their condition are cited. The condition of the 
binding is also recorded, noting such things as staining, discoloring, 
abrading; detached boards or spine; cracked hinges; bent, broken, or worn 
comers and torn or missing headcaps. The conservator also tries to deter- 
mine if the binding is original. For documentation purposes, a photo- 
graph of the materials should be taken. 

Based on these observations, the conservator makes suggestions about 
the nature of the proposed treatment. Often there is more than one pro- 
posal; then the custodian will have a choice. 

From his or her experience, the conservator must make an educated 
guess as to how long it will take to execute the proposed treatments. The 
cost estimate is based on a calculation of the time required to complete the 
work. Sometimes, after work begins, there are unpleasant surprises that 

Decisions in the Conservation Laboratory 137 

can throw the estimate off and call for reappraisals of the proposed treat- 
ment. Such surprises include stubborn adhesives, inks that suddenly 
feather or even disappear, colors that strike through, and paper more 
embrittled than first thought. 

Here, then, are some of the decisions the conservator faces, in the order 
in which they are made: based on the pH, should the paper be deacidified 
and can it be done safely. If it can be deacidified, how should it be done? 
(Sometimes there is no choice.) Manuscript inks that run in water but not 
in alcohol can be deacidified nonaqueously, but some inks are soluble in 
both. What about books papers? If the binding and sewing are sound and 
the paper is very acid, the book could be deacidified nonaqueously by 
brushing on methyl magnesium carbonate in a fume hood. Nonaqueous 
deacidification is not always the perfect answer. There are some printers' 
inks that can run in it and some papers discolor slightly. If the binding is at 
all weak, the slight swelling that results from nonaqueous deacidification 
can cause the outer hinges to crack. Nonaqueous deacidification for books 
with sound bindings and sewing may soon be replaced by a mass deacidifi- 
cation process. If the binding is to be replaced but the sewing is sound, 
what type of deacidification should be used? If the paper is very discolored 
it will greatly benefit from the washing that always precedes aqueous 
deacidification. Conservators prefer to wash discolored and embrittled 
paper if possible because it refreshes the paper. Stains and discolorations 
are removed or reduced and deteriorated size and soluble acids are washed 
away. The paper always feels better after it has been washed. However, 
washing and aqueous deacidification is a much longer process necessitat- 
ing disbinding and the consequent mending of folds and resewing results 
in a more costly procedure. The decision, therefore, must always be made 
as to whether a book with sound sewing should be washed. 

The type of paper mending is another consideration which must be 
based on suitability and economic realities. Heatset tissue allows for faster 
mending and makes sense when extensive mending is required. The more 
traditional Japanese tissue and paste mends and fills, though the process 
takes somewhat longer, permits a more harmonious matching of color 
values and paper texture. An altenative treatment, not usually available in 
the small conservation studio, involves the leaf casting machine. 

If nonaqueous deacidification of the bound volume is selected for 
embrittled paper, then nothing much can be done for the paper other than 
to repair tears. If there are a few mold-deteriorated leaves they can be 
brushed sized. Only if the book is not to be heavily used should badly 
embrittled paper be nonaqueously deacidified. Deacidification will not 
restore paper to its original state or even improve it, but deacidification 
will slow down further deterioration. 

138 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

For paper that is being aqueously deacidified and is embrittled, the 
options are more numerous. Sometimes washing will remove enough 
excess sizing that contributed to the embrittlement, so that paper can be 
revitalized and allow normal sewing and binding. But if the paper remains 
very fragile even after washing and deacidification, each leaf can be sup- 
ported on either or both sides with heatset tissue. The book can then be 
rehinged, sewn and bound; or as an alternative, after mending, the leaves 
can be encapsulated in a polyester envelope and housed in a postbinding. 

Water stains and tide lines can usually be removed or, at least, reduced 
by washing. In some cases, mold stains and damage can be reduced by 
washing with the damaged paper responding well to resizing. Tapes and 
tape stains usually must be removed with solvents; for this reason, fume 
hoods are a necessary piece of equipment because of the toxic nature of 
most solvents. Though the tapes can almost always be removed, the 
remaining stains often cannot be eliminated entirely. When treating 
manuscripts, conservators are sometimes faced widi the dilemma of some 
reduction in legibility or some feathering of inks or type in order to rid the 
paper of the adhesive which, if permitted to remain, would continue to 
degrade the paper. When this problem arises, the final decision is often left 
to the custodian of the material. 

Foxing and other stains on a piece of art work on paper may be 
bleached out if they interfere aesthetically, but on book paper, we almost 
never bleach. As long as all the adhesive is removed and can cause no 
further damage, we can live with the blemish, especially if it does not 
obscure legibility. Bleaching residues, which are difficult to remove 
entirely from paper, can cause damage later on. 

Discolored protective sheets should be removed. They were inserted to 
protect against offset of the freshly printed plates. The ink has long since 
dried and the acid from these sheets can migrate. 

The next series of decisions, dealing with the nature of the binding 
structure, is usually up to the conservator alone. How should the paper and 
signatures be prepared for sewing and how should the boards be attached? 
All these are determined by the style of the binding, the size of the book, the 
condition of the paper and the intended use. Will the book be merely cased 
(a technique we usually restrict to cloth bindings) or will the boards be 
attached to the book block before the book is covered? How heavy should 
the boards be? How many cords or tapes should the book be sewn on? The 
usual practice in conservation binding is to follow the original sewing 
structure if it is possible and appropriate. What type of headbands should 
be used, and in what color? Color choices for headband and covering 
cloths, papers and leathers should be in keeping with the prevalent colors 
of the period. Should the book be a tightback or should it have a hollow 
tube? A tightback might be historically accurate but the condition of the 

Decisions in the Conservation Laboratory 139 

paper or the narrowness of the inner margins might make a hollow tube 
more appropriate from a conservation perspective. If the paper is in a poor 
state or the inner margins are not very generous or for some reason it is 
necessary for the book to be exceptionally flexible in its opening, the 
conservator might consider sewing the book on a concertina so that when 
the book is glued up no adhesive will touch the signature folds. Another 
solution to the flexibility problem, especially in a book of plates, would be 
to have each leaf or signature thrown out on guards. 

If the binding on a book is original, the questions arise as to whether 
the binding can be restored; whether the client wants it restored; whether 
the book warrants restoration because of bibliographic, historic or aes- 
thetic significance. To help in identifying original bindings, a good 
reference library, especially of exhibition catalogs, is most helpful. It is 
amazing what can be done to restore a deteriorated binding. It is possible to 
use original parts over new flexible materials which harmonize with or are 
dyed to match the original. Books can be rebacked when the boards are 
detached or the spine is missing. Corners can be rebuilt and recovered and 
worn heads and tails can be repaired. In finishing restorations, tools that 
duplicate or closely resemble those used on the original binding are some- 
times used. A large collection of old tools can prove indispensable for this 
process. However, the question of whether or not to complete areas where 
die original gold has worn away is a sensitive issue among conservators, 
born due to the higher costs incurred for a purely cosmetic effect and, more 
importantly, because the process might be seen as an attempt to disguise or 
alter the original state of the binding. 

If the existing binding is beyond repair or is not original, there are 
several possibilities to be considered concerning rebinding. A replica bind- 
ing, whereby the conservator will try to find papers and other materials 
that duplicate as closely as possible the original, is one option. Decorated 
and other old papers from discarded bindings are saved for just such an 
occasion. There are also modern decorated papers made to replicate many 
of the historic patterns. Another possibility, use of a period binding, is one 
that will capture the spirit of the binding style of an earlier time. Or one 
could opt for a modest conservation binding so that more time and expense 
can be devoted to the inside work on the paper and the binding made just 
functional and conservationally sound. 

A postbinding is yet another choice. Having decided that the condi- 
tion of the material requires polyester encapsulation, it is also necessary to 
consider the nature and value of the material because its bibliographical 
integrity will be destroyed when the gatherings and folds are separated to 
accommodate encapsulation. Postbindings are a fine housing for manu- 
script and scrapbook collections and are currently being recommended for 
holdings of permanent archival or research value because of the complete 

140 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

reversibility and the protection offered by postbindings against tempera- 
ture and humidity fluctuations, environmental pollutants and physical 
and mechanical abuse. 5 If possible, materials should be deacidified before 

An alternative in conservation is to box the item. If a suitable binding 
or restoration cannot be executed for economic or technical reasons, yet 
something must be done to prevent further deterioration especially in a 
case where boards are no longer attached or the covering materials are in a 
very fragile state, the decision to box the materials, as is, might be made. 
Boxes are a conservation holding action, keeping the materials together, 
protecting them from dirt, dust and, to some degree, from environmental 
fluctuations and pollutants. They can be constructed with a lip for books 
with boards that warp, and they can be made for a newly rebound book, 
especially if it is desirable to keep the original binding or binding rem- 
nants housed with the book. Boxes are particularly suitable for pamphlets, 
permitting them to be shelved along with books. 

After restoration a ticket outlining the treatments and materials used 
should be attached to the back inside cover to be kept as a permanent record 
with the book. 

Whatever treatment is finally decided upon must be based on consider- 
ations of use and stability of materials. No technique or materials must be 
used, however attractive to the eye, which may deteriorate and cause 
irreversible damage. 


1. Horton, Carolyn. "The Ethics of Book Restoration." (Paper presented at the Hunt 
Seminar, Pittsburgh, Pa., 13 Nov. 1979). 

2. American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. Code of 
Ethics and Standards of Practice. Washington, D.C.: AICHAW, 1979. 

3. Cains, Anthony. "Techniques of Preservation Based on Early Binding Methods and 
Materials." Paper Conservator l(1976):2-8. 

4. Morrow, Carolyn C. A Conservation Policy Statement for Research Libraries 
(Occasional Papers No. 139). Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Graduate School of 
Library Science, 1979. 

5. Waters, Peter. "Archival Methods of Treatment for Library Documents." In Preser- 
vation o Paper and Textiles of Historic and Artistic Value (Advances in Chemistry Series, no. 
193), edited by John C. Williams, pp. 13-23. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society, 


Anthony Amodeo (Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois): When you deal 
with a binding that is fairly old and maybe not typical, especially of some 

Decisions in the Conservation Laboratory 141 

commercial production, and when you decide to rebind it, do you save not 
only the covers but perhaps photograph the sewing as it existed and the top 
edge as well? Do you save pieces of the sewing thread for documentation of 
binding history? 

Louise Kuf lik: Normally we don't document. In a laboratory, it's probably 
done automatically. In a studio, we don't, but we certainly retain all parts 
of the original binding until the client has picked it up, so, if they want any 
remains of the binding, it's certainly theirs. If they expressed an interest in 
having this documentation, we would do it. 

Amodeo: If your customers are libraries, do they usually request such a 

Kuf lik: Not really. No. 

Kathryn Luther Henderson (Graduate School of Library and Information 
Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): I have a three- 
pronged question. In these days librarians are sometimes seeking alterna- 
tive careers related to librarianship. Could you comment on the following 
since you hold library degrees? First of all, do you really consider this an 
alternative career to librarianship? Second, how does your library degree 
and your library work experience relate to your conservation experience? 
And third, what advice can you offer to students who might be interested in 
pursuing a career using their library degree in the way that you are using 

Kuf lik: 1 suppose it might be viewed as an alternate career for a librarian 
although I think I slipped into it somewhat accidentally. It all hinged on 
my interest in books and materials so in a sense it is related. How does my 
experience help me? It is helpful especially when it comes to a bibliograph- 
ic concern, usually toward the end of the process. One of our problems is in 
finding out from the owners of the materials how they want the book titled. 
What should the title be? Should we follow the title on the bindings as it 
came to us? We often have to research or suggest to the client what should 
be put on the finished binding. I suppose my familiarity with the reference 
tools has been helpful. As I said before, I was particularly lucky I came 
along at just the right moment. Even though there is a great need for 
people in the field, the opportunities still seem somewhat limited for 
training. Pam [Darling] mentioned earlier the program at Columbia and, 
if that's successful, we can hope there will be more programs in the future. I 
think if you're interested in this field you just have to be persistent. If you 
want to do something, you can do it. 

Heinke Pensky-Adams (Monastery Hill Bindery, Chicago, Illinois): I 
might be able to fill in on this a little bit, because I would like to say that 
any librarian who is interested in the field, should be persistent, as Louise 

142 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

said, in trying to learn as much as possible. It is very difficult to find 
apprenticeships in this country. It is, therefore, very frustrating. A long 
period is involved in order to learn everything. But be persistent because we 
need every hand possible to do the job that needs to be done. There's so 
much material that has to be treated and should be treated more or less 

Nancy Gwinn (Research Libraries Group): The Library of Congress has, 
at times, been quoted as saying that it could cost up to $300 a volume to 
restore a book. I wonder if you could state a range of average figures? 

Kuflik: There is such a range of possibilities! When you say an average 
book does that mean resewing or does it not? What type of binding is it? Is it 
a cloth binding; is it a leather binding? How big is it? How many leaves? 
It's impossible to give a figure without knowing specifics. 

Gwinn: Let's say that it's an average 300-page monograph with a cloth 
binding requiring deacifidication but doesn't have any unusual restora- 
tion properties. 

Kuflik: But how is it being deacidified? Is it being aqueously or nonaque- 
ously deacidified? Is it being resewed? 

Gwinn: Realizing all this, I wondered if you could give a range. Is it $1 00 to 
$500; or is it $200 to $300; or $50 to $100? 

Kuflik: It's really almost impossible without having the material in hand. 
Perhaps the backbone of the whole field is the ability to estimate accu- 
rately. We keep very detailed time records for all different types of treat- 
ments based upon size. Mrs. Horton has graphs e.g., of a 6'/-inch leaf and 
an 8-inch leaf and the time it takes to mend. Somehow you have to come up 
with an estimate by looking at the book and deciding what it is you're 
going to do. I think one of the things that we've been doing more often is 
citing alternative treatments. Rather than just saying "This is what should 
be done," we say "If you can't afford to have this done maybe you will want 
to have a box made." Or we give the alternative between a cloth binding 
and a leather binding. So, there is some range there from which the client 
can select. It's expensive work. It will certainly cost more than $100. After 
that, there isn't much I can say. 

D.W. Krummel (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): The antiquarian book 
sellers say they are selling more and more to private sellers and less and less 
to institutional collections today. Would you care to comment on this? Is it 
your experience that you are doing less work for institutional collections 
and more for collectors now? Or is this something that Carolyn Horton 
herself handles? 

Decisions in the Conservation Laboratory 143 

Kuflik: It would be more up Mrs. Horton's alley but I haven't noticed any 
particular change in recent years. 

Krummei. A related question that comes out of this that I wish might be 
considered here today is how many libraries are considering reinstating 
their own on-the-premises binding and conservation units? What are the 
considerations that might be involved in such efforts? 

Pensky-Adams: I think I would like to say something on this. Listening to 
you librarians and to your problems during the last few days, I have a 
feeling that the private conservator gets only a little drop of what the 
problem really is and what you're trying to do in your libraries. Therefore, 
I would like to suggest that we have a closer relationship with each other to 
work out the problems and to cut out little processes in having things done. 
For example, I think libraries can have an inside shop which does minor 
repairs and cleaning, but the major work should be done by conservators 
because they have the bench experience and the training and they know 
how to approach the problem. 

Alan Calmes (National Archives): In regard to Mylar encapsulation, 
there's a debate whether or not to seal up the page entirely or ventilate at a 
corner. What are your thoughts about that? 

Kuflik: There are pros and cons. I assume that since the Library of Con- 
gress currently has two of these sealing machines, two different varieties, 
that they have come to the conclusion that it's okay to completely seal the 
envelopes although with these machines you could also, I'm sure, leave a 
slight gap to permit some passage of air. Of course, this is one of the 
reasons why it should be deacidified prior to encapsulation. If you're not 
deacidifying the material, you're not talking about the same thing. Mate- 
rial should be deacidified and certainly should be completely dry at the 
time of encapsulation. I would leave to the scientists the question as to 
whether there should be a complete sealing or not. 

Walter C. Allen (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) to Calmes: You raised the 
question; what's the difficulty? I think there are those among us who are 
not aware of the problem. 

Calmes: You trap in the products of degradation if you do seal it up 
entirely. If it is deacidified, then, probably you can seal it up entirely, but it 
is good to caution people that if you do not deacidify, you probably should 
not encapsulate and if you do encapsulate, then you should leave some 
ventilation. Maybe you should take it out and air it out from time to time. 

Kujlik: That's redoing the whole process. 

Keith Dowden (Purdue University Libraries, West Lafayette, Indiana): I'd 
like to hear something more about reversiblity. Some processes, I assume, 

144 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

would be only partially reversible. To what degree are they reversible? And 
what is the great need for this in your work? 

Kuflik: The feeling is that, since we are dealing with materials of some 
intrinsic value, should the materials that we're using at the current time 
not be as stable as we are assuming they are, we can reverse what we've 
done. We can remove what we've added if we find that there's a more 
suitable material that comes along in the future. In other words, we can 
change whatever we've done to the item if necessary. Most of the processes 
are completely reversible. The heatset tissue, which might be the material 
that would be most called into question, is reversible only if the item can be 
treated with water or alcohol and so you've got to determine whether the 
item that you're lining or mending with this can be subjected either to 
water or alcohol. It's sort of one of the time honored principles in the field 
of conservation and probably harks back more to paper supported works of 
art where it is even of greater concern than with books. But this is one of the 
principles: what you can do to the material you can undo to the material 
and it will be in the same condition as it was before. 

Dowden: I was thinking about binding, and possibly, rebinding. 

Kuflik: The binding itself is usually fairly easy to remove. The adhesives 
that we're using are generally reversible. After all, in the process of rebind- 
ing, in any case, we have to clean off the spine before we start rebinding. We 
can remove the binding every easily. We will probably destroy it, but it can 
be removed. 

Amodeo: This is a sort of hypothetical question. Say that you have some- 
one coming in saying, "I'm going to give this particular book that has been 
in the family for so many generations to my grandchildren." Assume it'san 
early nineteenth-century or late eighteenth -century Germantown Bible, or 
something similar and they would like a nice brand new lea thereover all 
gussied up with ornaments, etc. Would you try to dissuade them from 
destroying the book as it is other than perhaps doing a little needed 
structural correction, and perhaps try to preserve the book by putting it in a 
box rather than just rebinding the whole thing as they had asked? Or 
lacking that, would you photograph it and send a copy of the binding to a 
local research library? Do you have any sort of contingency plan if the 
person insists on rebinding it? 

Kuflik: No. But if they wanted it rebound in full leather and they heard 
what the cost would be, that might discourage them. There are so many 
factors. People all love their family Bibles and usually, of course, they are 
very large books, as you all know. 

Amodeo: I'm talking about something unusual of binding interest, some- 
thing extraordinary, in fact. If you ran across something extraordinary 

Decisions in the Conservation Laboratory 145 

would you ask the patron if you could photograph the item because it was 
very different from anything you had ever seen? Or, maybe, I'm suggesting 
that if there is a research library of some sort that you might be in contact 
with, that you might establish a file of photographs of this sort of thing 
before they get covered up again with new leather especially if there is 
something unusual or of particular historic binding interest that you have 
run across. 

Kuflik: We don't maintain any contact as you're suggesting. An instance of 
that really has not arisen. I'm sure the owner of the material would 
probably have no reason not to permit it to be photographed. I can't 
possibly see why. If it's possible to restore the binding especially if the 
binding has some intrinsic value, we prefer to restore or refurbish it, but if 
it's no longer protecting the book and the book is no longer usable with the 
boards, then in that case, we might suggest either rebinding, or, possibly 
rebacking. We do try to encourage that. I think most people who value this 
type of material, value the nature of their material, too; otherwise they 
would not bring it to us. So, I think they would favor that solution if at all 

Robert J. Adelsperger (University of Illinois at Chicago Circle): It's gener- 
ally believed that conservators should tell us how to do things, what might 
be done, and as you say, give us alternatives, but that curators (and Paul 
Banks has said this frequently) must decide what the priorities are what 
things should be conserved and preserved, what are important biblio- 
graphically, and so forth. To follow up with Tony's [Amodeo] point, 
though, are conservators ready and able to advise curators (many of whom 
will not be experts in the history of binding styles, etc.), as to the proper 
type of treatment if rebinding is necessary e.g., shall it be a binding 
relating to the period? Can curators expect that sort of service from 

Kuflik: Yes, I think we would make every effort. As I said, we have a fairly 
extensive reference collection. And we would do so, especially if the curator 
expressed an interest. It's up to the curator to inform the conservator what 
he or she would like; the conservator can then respond to those needs. 

Peter Chang (Florida State University, Tallahassee): I would just like a few 
words from personal experience. Last year we sent fifty rare books to a 
company, which sent its representative to us. He told us how much it 
would cost to do each process. We added it together and figured that we 
could afford such treatment. Then, they sent us a shipment. I think they 
averaged about $150 each. We found this too much to spend. Then we 
found out about another binder who said he could do hand binding. We 
thought this, too, would be too expensive but he gave us a list e.g., leather 

146 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

is $16; if you keep the spine, it is $12. He tells us this is hand binding. Why 
the price difference? 

Kuflik: What was the quality of the materials he used? 

Chang: With the first binder, we were happy. He restored quite well. It's 
quite a good job but dial cost us $150 a volume. As to the second one, the 
first shipment is just on the way back. 

Pensky-Adams: How can he do a leather binding for $12 when a foot of 
leather on the market is already between $12 and $15? 

Kuflik: As a rule they're talking about commercial binding as opposed to 
hand and conservation binding. I don't think they treated the inside of the 
book either. The quality of materials must be considered. I think it's up to 
the curator to question the binder as to the quality of the material being 
used on the books. Are the end papers acid-free? Are they using good- 
quality cloths? Have the leathers been subjected or approved? There's a test 
called the PIRA test that most conservation binders use. If the curators 
express an interest I don't think the conservators would mind at all answer- 
ing these questions. 



Hertzberg-New Method, Inc. 
Jacksonville, Illinois 

Role of Commercial Services in 
Conservation and Preservation 


I am here to represent library binders, a business that I have been in for over 
thirty-five years. Our industry is a small industry as industries go. It is 
about a 50-million-dollar industry which means that there are probably 
about 12 million or so volumes bound yearly and there are roughly twenty- 
five to thirty binders throughout the country. 

Basically, our job is to handle current materials such as magazines, 
books, theses, and more recently, paperbacks. In this group there is quite a 
conglomeration of material. Here the concern is durability. We also handle 
semi-rare materials where the need is for mending, folding, hinging, 
laminating, and encapsulating. Recently, we have made a concerted effort 
to look at deacidification, but my hopes were somewhat dampened yester- 
day when I asked how many of you would be willing to move ahead with it 
and sign a release for responsibility of the results. I didn't get much 
enthusiastic response from that request. Asa complete library binder, our 
firm must be ready to take care of all of these categories of material and 
engage in all these processes. 

We are well aware of the money crunch that libraries face. Libraries, 
on one hand, have to pay salaries and operating costs, while on the other 
hand, they have to pay for acquisitions and binding costs. Because the 
binding business is so labor-intensive (there are about forty-two individual 
operations that go into binding each book and magazine), we're trying to 
become more standardized in order to bring more economy into the pic- 
ture. Up to now, the oversewing process, which sewed tight bindings, has 


148 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

been an accepted standard and we have not been able to compensate for the 
problems of oversewing problems which have been complained about by 
archivists, conservationists, and bibliophiles for a long time. Of late, we 
are doing much more with adhesive binding which promises to be a 
dramatic new development and to compensate for some of the difficulties 
of oversewing. At the conservation fair this evening, we will have on 
display some volumes to which the new adhesive has been applied. What 
we like about the volumes which have been bound in this way is that the 
volume will lie perfectly flat without stress on the hinge when the volume 
is placed on a photocopying machine. 

Briefly and basically, this is what a commercial library binder does. 
We have been at this work for nearly 100 years or so. There are many new 
developments on the scene and we are trying to adjust to them and to use 
them as fast as possible to serve you better. 



Kner and Anthony, Bookbinders 
Chicago, Illinois 


My business is the preservation of books and documents. I have a small 
studio in Chicago which employs two people in the bindery, David Brock 
and Mark Esser. David is in the fifth year of his apprenticeship and Mark 
has been with me for about nine months. My wife, Bernie, comes in to help 
in the office. 

In addition to preservation work we bind fine bindings and limited 
editions from private presses. For the purpose of this talk, I will stay with 
preservation work. 

Our customers are custodians of special collections in university 
libraries and other institutions, private collectors, and people who have 
books that are very special to them. 

Private collectors and people with special books usually come to the 
studio where I examine their books, recommend treatment and explain 
what is involved, answer any questions they might have and quote them a 
price. Because of the small number of books usually involved, it is no 
problem for them to bring the books to the studio. 

In dealing with library special collections, there are more books 
involved and many more people. There may be as many as six people 

Role of Commercial Services 149 

working in a special collections department, all of whom are interested in 
the preservation of their collection. Because so many books and people are 
involved, I like to go to the library and pick up books in need of preserva- 
tion treatment and deliver books on which I've worked. 

The books to be worked on have been chosen before I get there. We 
take each book separately and discuss what has to be done. We then 
examine the books that I have brought back and discuss thoroughly the 
work that has been done. This way the people in the library gain some 
understanding of what is involved in book preservation. 

Generally speaking, books in need of preservation treatment fall into 
two categories: books with brittle paper and books with flexible paper. 
Books with brittle paper are mostly from the eighteenth, nineteenth and 
twentieth centuries. Books with flexible paper are from the fifteenth, 
sixteendi and seventeenth centuries. 

A thorough examination of the book reveals the condition of the 
paper, the condition of the cover and the condition of the construction. 
With this information, the curator or owner with the binder decide on the 
best way to preserve the book. 

I would like to describe for you a couple of fairly common preserva- 
tion problems that are encountered in the studio and how we deal with 

Conservation means preserving the artifact in its present condition, in 
which case a drop spine box may be the answer; however, the book is an 
object which has to function in order to be useful so that, in most cases, 
anything from minor repair to complete rebinding is necessary. 

A fairly common case for preservation might be a nineteenth -century 
book with brittle paper. Examination reveals that the leather has deterio- 
rated due to red rot. Both boards are broken at the hinges and the paper is 
brittle and has a pH of 4. In addition to the slips being broken the sewingis 
weak and broken and the spine has been glued up with acidic animal glue. 
If the book is very valuable to the collection and a better copy cannot be 
obtained, an extremely conservative binding may be possible. This bind- 
ing is designed to do as little damage as possible to the book block and to 
function with as little strain as possible on the paper. 

The book, then, is carefully disbound by pulling the sections from the 
sewing. Because of the acidic glue on the spine, the outer sheets of each 
section may break; possibly more than the outer sheet may break. After 
pulling, the sections are washed in warm water. When the folds of the 
sections are weak and possibly held together by glue that has penetrated the 
sewing holes, I wash the book in sections rather than in single sheets. I do 
this by folding polyester film called "Remey" and placing a folded piece 
somewhat larger than the sheets of the book into the center of each section 
and then place the sections in the water. When the sections have been 

150 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

thoroughly washed and rehydrated, I remove them from the water and 
allow them to drain before placing them into the deacidifying solution. 
For this purpose we use magnesium bicarbonate or calcium hydroxide. I 
find calcium hydroxide easier to use and it gives a higher pH than magne- 
sium bicarbonate. If the sheets being deacidified have colored inks, then 
magnesium bicarbondate is the better solution. 

After soaking thoroughly in the solution, the sections are removed by 
the supporting Remey and air dried. They are then collated and lightly 
pressed. The successful collation of the sheets at this stage may depend on 
how well loose sheets and unnumbered sheets at the beginning and end of 
die book were marked before the book was pulled. 

The sheets are examined for tears and mended with Japanese paper 
and acid free wheat paste. Torn folds are mended and reinforced with 
wet-torn Japanese paper. 

When dry, the book is ready for sewing. The original binding may 
have been sewn flexible on raised cords or it may have been sewn on 
recessed cords. Neither method may now be considered suitable because 
flexible sewing imposes too great a strain on the weak paper and recessed 
sewing is destructive to the paper. The sewing which is most compatible 
with the weak paper may be sewing on linen tapes or frayed out hemp 
cords. This method of sewing is flush with the spine and allows the spine 
to open and close with a minimum of strain. 

The "gluing up" of the spine is done with a mixture of wheat paste 
and methyl cellulose. The methyl cellulose tends to add flexibility to the 
paste. Flexible polyvinyl acetate (PVA) is the modem glue designed for this 
purpose. I don't use it directly on the spine because it is not water soluable 
and would, therefore, make reversing the binding extremely difficult, if not 
impossible. Either of these adhesives are stronger than paste on this most 
vulnerable part of the binding but, on balance, the book block will last 
longer by using a reversible adhesive. 

The sewing of endbands on this delicate paper would further damage 
the paper and add no strength to the binding. In this case, I favor head- 
bands made by rolling natural linen around hemp or linen to form the end 
bands and then adhere them to the spine. 

A spine lining of Japanese paper is pasted directly to the spine, again 
using a mixture of paste and methyl cellulose. When dry, a coat of diluted 
PVA is applied to the Japanese paper. This helps to keep the spine flexible. 
A hollow or tube is then made and attached to the spine. The book block is 
now forwarded and ready for covering. This may be done by lacing on the 
boards and covering or by making a case. 

I favor natural linen and handmade paper for this purpose because 
they are strong and durable. If the paper is decorated with colored paste and 
used with linen it can be harmonious with paper from any period. 

Role of Commercial Services 151 

With this book we have recognized that the book block is brittle and 
weak and we have designed a binding that has been as conservative and 
harmonious as possible. I consider it advisable to protect such a binding 
further in a drop spine box. 

Another common problem is the book that is in need of rebacking. 
The most vulnerable part of the book is the spine, and particularly the 
hinge area. If the boards have become detached, this means that the 
covering material has broken, the inner hinge of paper, cloth or leather has 
broken, and the slips that have been laced into the boards have broken. 
Probably damage has been done to the first and last sections of the book. 
These sections are removed and carefully marked so that their sequence 
will not be lost. They may be washed and deacidified and mended with 
Japanese paper. 

Next, we remove the spine. This is easy to do on a hollow back or tube 
spine but not so easy when the leather has been directly adhered to the 
spine. If the leather is weak and crumbling, then, we brush a liquid called 
Pliantex on the leather. This consolidates the fibers and enables us to pry 
the leather off with scalpels and folders. When the leather has been 
removed, the spine is paste washed and cleaned. All of this work on the 
spine is done with the utmost care for the sewing. 

The sewing structure is examined and breaks and weaknesses 
repaired. New slips are added by oversewing new hemp cords to the old 

The damaged first and last sections have now been repaired and are 
sewn to the new slips. New linen endbands are sewn on and the spine is 
lined. We are now ready to attach the new leather spine. 

The boards are prepared by lifting the leather from the back edges and 
by lifting the paste down from the inside back edges of the boards. The 
boards are put in place on the book and then held in a press. The leather is 
pared and pasted and carefully attached to the spine and inserted under the 
lifted leather on each board. 

The ends are turned in and the headcaps are set. When dry, the boards 
are opened and a linen hinge, which has been wrapped around the repaired 
sections, is pasted down under the lifted paste down. Then the lifted paste 
down is pasted on the new hinge and the lifted leather is put down on the 
new leather. The old spine is attached to the new spine and the rebacking is 

I have described to you two of the most common book preservation 
techniques we use. In order to become familiar with these and many other 
preservation techniques I advise you to communicate with your binder and 
even take lessons from him/her if possible. 

In addition to the many preservation techniques needed for the conser- 
vation and restoration of the variety of books that come to the studio, I 

152 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

would like to mention that we also preserve documents. We do this by 
washing, deacidifying and encapsulating in Mylar. A method I particu- 
larly like, especially with letters, is to lay the letter on an acid free board 
under a Mylar flap. 


President and Chief Operating Officer 
Gay lord Bros., Inc. 
Syracuse, New York 


Gaylord Bros., Inc. has existed for eighty-five years. However, I 
haven't. I've been with Gaylord only two years, coming from two other 
corporate experiences, eleven years with Xerox (a great portion of that time 
with University Microfilms) and, then, with Brodart. One of the things 
that Gaylord has had to do as a relatively older company, that is now 
caught up in the tremendous change in the technological processes that 
librarians are using, and at the same time lack of growing budgets, is to go 
through a planning process, the same kind of planning process that many 
of you wrestle with every year. Especially, we have had to do this a great 
deal over the last six months, in an attempt to redescribe to ourselves who 
we are, what we are, and what we would like to be. Eighty-five years ago, 
the two Gaylord brothers would go out to talk with librarians in an 
attempt to understand their needs for supply-type items. They would then 
go back to their place of business, take a largely paper product and twist it 
around into a different shape, print something on it, and they had a new 
product for librarians. Unfortunately today we're dealing with plastics, 
metals, microprocessers, die need for acid free paper, and a whole host of 
technologies for which our small company and the library market cannot 
afford original R&D. So we are defining ourselves as a vendor, a distributor 
of products, in the same way that Sears might be described as a vendor of 
products. We like to be a very credible company, concentrating on the 
library marketplace. Because we are a credible company we have very good 
relationships widi a number of very large companies, including IBM, 
Xerox, Kodak, 3M, etc. These companies, of course, have substantial 
research and development budgets. So, we are increasingly trying to define 
our company as an interpreter of technology. We try to understand what 

Role of Commercial Services 153 

some of these larger companies are doing and, then, use their new technol- 
ogies to help librarians. 

Today I'd like to talk about one such technology which, I think, will 
be an interesting one for you. First of all, I would mention that there have 
been a number of companies that sell products such as pamphlet binders 
and boxes of all shapes made from acid free paper used to store the 
documents you have in the library. While companies such as Gaylord, 
University Products, and Hollinger make a good-quality product for these 
purposes, we, at Gaylord, believe that some things happen in the paper 
industry that are real problems. First of all, simply defining what is acid 
free paper is somewhat of a controversial issue. How have you buffered it? 
Are you talking about the liner? Are you talking about the board itself? Do 
you have some form of glue or joining device in it which can ruin the 
neutrality of the materials? Also, paper is absorbent; over the years it might 
absorb the water vapor and the acids that are in the air itself. So we believe 
that there is a problem with products that any vendor sells as acid free. We 
know that paper prices have gone up greatly in the past ten years and, by 
the very nature of our society, and by the nature of the paper and pulp 
industry, we believe prices for paper are going to accelerate very rapidly in 
the next few years. At Gaylord, we have explored making storage boxes out 
of a different material. We believe a plastic that is called polypropolene 
will be of great interest to you. This plastic product is made from a natural 
gas and talc which are both raw materials quite available here in the 
United States; therefore, we do not have to be worried about importing oil 
and getting cut off in the event of war. 

Polypropolene has very interesting properties. First of all, it is totally 
inert, therefore acidity is simply not relevant. It is neither acidic nor 
alkaline and never can be. It has very high temperature resistance. You can 
actually sterilize this material at 250 degrees and you will not damage it. It 
has great resistance to absorption of water vapor about as great as any 
material that we are able to find so we think that will be of great use in 
library preservation work. The material can also be configured in virtually 
any shape that you might want to have. By indenting the material as it is 
formed, you can change the strength and flexibility of the material. You 
can also add different additives to make it more or less flexible. You can 
color it in almost any way that you might possibly want, and it has the 
feature called a living hinge. When this material is compressed, it actually 
changes the molecular configuration so that this hinge can be flexed 
thousands and thousands of times. You are not going to have the problem 
of the lid of the box coming off in your hand it will last as long as the 
material itself. The material can also be textured so that if you want it slick, 
we can make that; if you want it to have a woodgrained type of pattern, we 

154 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

can do that. We can print on it. By ourselves, we could not afford to develop 
this technology because it is a multimillion-dollar investment, not only 
investing in the plastic production itself, but also in the extrusion devices 
that are used to melt it and form sheets and to vacuum form it into useful 
products that you would want to buy; therefore we are in the process of 
making arrangements with other companies to work with us to make the 
product available. After working with the product for two years, we believe 
that we will have this material on the market, thoroughly tested, within six 

Other fields such as the medical field are increasingly substituting 
polypropolene for materials such as glass, paper, and metal. In medicine, 
operating room trays, packages, kits, and so forth, are made of polypropo- 
lene because of its inherent high resistance to chemicals, solvents, and 
bacterial development. Polypropolene containerization of pharmaceuti- 
cals is common now due to high temperature resistance combined with 
unusually low water absorption and moisture vapor permeability. These 
are vital characteristics to effective storage of pills, powders, capsules, and 
medicines. This is material that has passed the stringent requirements of 
the medical profession. 

In another difficult area, food packaging demands are met more 
favorably with polypropolene than with any other plastic resin. It meets 
the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as specified in 
the Code of Federal Regulations, no. 21 , for the safe use of articles intended 
for repeated use applications. Again, the inherent inertness of the material 
makes it resistant to oils, acids, alkalines, and practically all chemicals. 
Food products successfully contained in polypropolene include dairy pro- 
ducts, fruit juices, vegetables, toppings, and syrups. 

We believe that the use of polypropolene is more cost-effective than 
any other polymer, and competes economically with all traditionally used 
materials. Physical properties of polypropolene can be readily changed by 
varying amounts of additives to obtain precise properties of impact resis- 
tance, tensile strength, and flexual modules. Tailoring polypropolene to 
specific products and uses is relatively simple. For example, it is possible to 
achieve optimized balances of stiffness, impact resistance, or resistance to 
heat aging, plus resistance to solvents, chemicals and environmental stress 
cracking. This is accomplished by well-known, proven procedural 
methods. When you look at some samples this evening you will notice that 
we have used a sonic welding to put in an adhesive strip. This will be used 
for pamphlet binders. Sonic welding is a very permanent method of 
adhering two products together. Before we bring the product out, we will 
do careful testing of the adhesive to make sure that it is non-damaging to 

Role of Commercial Services 155 

In summary, we believe this material, polypropolene, will have a 
significant impact on libraries because it is totally intert. It can be shipped 
flat so it will save cost in transportation. We believe that it will be priced 
competitively with the paper products as we know them today. The living 
hinge will last as long as the product. We can use sonic welding techniques 
to reduce the labor involved when we make the product, and to improve its 
strength. The product is extremely heat resistant and can be actually 
sterilized at temperatures of up to 250 degrees. It is moisture resistant and 
very long-lasting. It can be attractively produced, and its raw materials are 
readily available. There is, however, one problem whenever you deal with 
this technology. Set-up costs are somewhat high, making it prohibitively 
expensive to produce only a few of any one particular product. We have to 
participate with some of the consumer industries and add our demands to 
part of their run. Therefore, one difficulty with this product is that we will 
not be able to offer the great range of sizes and shapes that we might be able 
to offer in a paper product. We will probably pick the most popular sizes 
and shapes, make those out of this particular product, and work our way 
through this as best we can. We believe that will be the only disadvantage of 
this product and we will have it available for marketing to you in 1982. 


Manager, Collection Development 

University Microfilms International 

Ann Arbor, Michigan 


I must say that after listening to my colleagues from the commercial 
end I feel somewhat in a "bind," especially since I represent a company 
concerned with microfilming which is frequently touted as an alternative 
to binding of current serial materials and as an alternative method of 
preserving information as opposed to restoring the object itself. While 
microfilming has been around for a long time, commercial application of 
microfilming for libraries really dates back only to the 1930s. This also 
marks the beginning of the use of microforms for preservation of library 
materials. Newspapers were one of the first items that went under the 
camera, so to speak, the reasons being primarily because the paper is 
highly acidic and becomes brittle, and because newspapers are very diffi- 
cult to bind under any circumstances. 

156 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

It was also late in the decade of the thirties that commercial micropub- 
lishers made their appearance. University Microfilms International 
(UMI), the company that I represent, is the oldest of the commercial 
micropublishers, having been founded in 1938; Readex Microprint was 
founded late in the next decade. These companies, and others which came 
on the scene later, are involved in the commercial publishing of materials 
on microfilm, or in many cases, the republishing of materials that have 
previously been published, and offering them in a different medium. The 
objective is not primarily that of preservation micropublishing has a 
profit motive behind it but the by-products of the filming of large retro- 
spective sets of materials such as the Early American Imprints Project 
offered by Readex, or the Early English Books projects offered by Univer- 
sity Microfilms, have in fact resulted in the preservation of information 
and the preservation of the cultural heritage of virtually all early British 
and American imprints. So preservation is an added benefit of micropub- 
lishing. The medium of microfilm has made proliferation and dissemina- 
tion of the materials economically feasible in a format that can be 
purchased readily by libraries and which also enables users to handle the 
materials without risk of damage to the originals. 

Today, there are literally hundreds of commercial micropublishers. In 
addition there are several hundred other commercial microfilming com- 
panies. The distinction here is similar to the difference between a printing 
shop and a publisher. That is basically what a commercial microfilming 
service is in comparison to a commercial micropublisher. The publishing 
involves adding value. The added value might be the editorial selection of 
the materials that are going to be filmed, or a unique arrangement of the 
materials. It may be added access to the materials that the publisher 
provides through indexes or guides to the product. The commercial micro- 
filming firm, like the printshop or commercial printer, makes its profit 
from the filming itself. The commercial micropublisher, on the other 
hand, is also interested in disseminating and marketing the materials, so 
the economic motive is somewhat different dissemination and distribu- 
tion is the aim of the publisher which means that there must be some 
added value to the product. Sometimes both services are offered under the 
same roof. A micropublishing company may provide some commercial 
filming operations, or may handle some jobs on a custom basis where the 
intent is not to market the product but simply to film and preserve it. We 
have one such project at University Microfilms which has been under way 
for several decades and which is one of the preservation microfilming 
projects which has received widespread attention. This involves the film- 
ing of monastic manuscripts under the auspices of St. John's University in 
Collegeville, Minnesota. Thousands of medieval manuscripts, many of 
them illuminated, have been filmed in both color and black and white 

Role of Commercial Services 157 

from a number of monasteries throughout Europe and North Africa. 
University Microfilms provides technical training and assistance for this 
project, inspecting and storing all of the master microfilms. We also 
produce distribution copies for this project upon directives from St. 
John's. We do not market the materials ourselves but do provide storage for 
all of their masters in our vaults. 

The micropublisher and the commercial microfilmer are in business 
to make money. For the micropublisher the only way to do that is to 
publish those projects which have the greatest potential for success. That 
is, the projects for which there is market need. Once filmed, the materials 
are preserved as long as the master negative is preserved and kept in 
archival conditions. Unfortunately we have found, in many cases, that 
once we have filmed projects and offered them for sale, there is no longer an 
immediate need for the customer to buy them since the materials are now 
preserved, and the microfilm is going to be around for a long time. You can 
buy it today; you can buy it tomorrow; you can buy it five or ten years from 
now! Therefore, one of the great added benefits of microfilm can also 
become, in some cases, a detriment to the micropublisher. A publisher, 
then, has to be concerned about raising the priority of purchase for the 
issued products. 

In fact, I think we have seen in recent years that the micropublishing 
industry, as a whole, has become more concerned with doing as much as 
possible to produce products which have more immediate impact for 
libraries and institutions. One way, of course, of doing this is to provide 
additional value that of improved access to the materials themselves. 
Bibliographic control has become a major issue for the micropublishing 
industry and, of course, for libraries. One way to enhance the value of the 
product is to make sure that as much access as can possibly be afforded has 
been provided. That means cataloging monographic and serial collections 
and making that cataloging data as widely available as possible. And it 
means indexing at a fairly specific level the nonmonographic or serial 
projects (archival collections, for example). It means selecting a format 
that is going to be the most usable format for a particular application. 
What it all boils down to is trying to make the product match the end users' 
needs and trying to make sure that once on film, the materials can be 
retrieved quickly and easily. 

In recent years at University Microfilms we have spent a great deal of 
time and effort in providing bibliographic control for our products. And, 
to give you some ideas as to how costly this actually is, we have frequently 
found that in our operations the access is anywhere from 4 to 5 times more 
costly than the actual filming of materials. Providing access is critical, 
nonetheless, because if the customer doesn't know what we have filmed, 
obviously, the customer can't purchase our microfilm. In addition, biblio- 

158 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

graphic control reduces the amount of duplicated effort among micropub- 
lishers and private institutions in filming of the same item more than once. 
The National Register of Microfilm Masters, and other tools of this sort 
which identify microfilmed titles, have gone a long way to cut down on the 
duplication of filming activity. 

What materials are ripe for preservation filming, or microfilming in 
general? Basically, any materials that have an image content can be consid- 
ered for microfilming. This includes books, printed materials, manuscript 
materials, archival collections of documents and letters, etc., or visual 
collections, such as photographs, prints, maps. The decision on whether to 
preserve by microfilming or by conserving is never an easy one, because the 
value of the original as an object has to be assessed as well as the informa- 
tional value of the material. For materials which cannot be restored, the 
choice may become one of whether to preserve the information or to 
conserve or preserve the object. If an item has deteriorated to the point 
where filming might completely destroy it, do you save the object or do you 
save the information? This difficult decision usually rests in the hands of 
librarians trained to assess these various issues. Fortunately, the alterna- 
tives are usually not that drastic, and the decision is one of whether the 
original can be saved by rebinding, preserving the original through deacid- 
ification, or replacing the deteriorated binding, while at the same time 
perhaps microfilming the item to provide a use copy which will prevent 
further unnecessary handling of the original. Frequently, microfilming 
can also be used to make a complete edition of a work from several 
imperfect copies that are in institutions scattered over wide distances. So 
there are a number of applications for microfilming that make the value of 
microfilming in preservation something to consider. 

How do you decide whether to microfilm locally or whether to go to a 
commercial microfilmer, or to a micropublisher? Under what circumstan- 
ces is one more desirable than another? This is a very complex issue and 
one that we could discuss at great length. It's very expensive to set up a local 
preservation microfilming operation, as many of you can attest, but fre- 
quently this is the best means of perserving the materials that are not likely 
to be picked up by a commercial micropublisher. If there are widespread 
applications in your institution for microfilming of rare or other materials 
that are not widely available elsewhere, then setting up your own in-house 
operation might be the best way to go. Or, perhaps a commercial micro- 
filming company is the answer for materials which cannot be marketed or 
for which dissemination is really not a factor. Where there is an interest in 
making material available to other institutions, and in preserving or 
rearranging materials on microfilm, then it is a good idea to talk to one or 
more micropublishers to explore the idea of publishing a particular collec- 
tion of materials. 

Role of Commercial Services 159 

To give you an idea of the variety of collections that University 
Microfilms is considering or is publishing this year and in the year ahead, I 
would first mention the filming and indexing of the Archives of the United 
Negro College Fund (UNCF), which will result in the availability of a 
unique collection which has resided, until this point in time, only at the 
headquarters of the UNCF. We are also releasing a very large collection of 
nursing materials the History of Nursing and the Nursing Education 
Archives of Teachers College, Columbia University. This past year we 
filmed and introduced the Photographic Views of New York City a 
collection of 54,000 photographs taken over the last century representing 
the growth and development of the city, fully indexed and with the images 
now preserved. One of the major interests of the New York Public Library 
in having that collection filmed by University Microfilms was in provid- 
ing a use copy so that patrons could consult a microfiche edition that serves 
as a visual index to the photograph collection . The users are able to select 
prints that they want the Library to reproduce without actually handling 
the original prints. 

These, then, are some of UMI's recent applications of microfilming 
for preservation and for dissemination. Those of you who are in charge of 
collections or trying to decide which part of that collection should be 
preserved by microfilming certainly have quite a challenge ahead. If there 
are potential applications that University Microfilms can help you with, 
we would be happy to discuss them. 


William T Henderson (Library, University of Illinois at Urbana- 
Champaign): It occurs to me that these four people have just proven one of 
my points in my presentation of this morning i.e., in preservation, we 
keep the old and bring the new along with us. 

Kenneth Lavendar (North Texas State University, Denton): The title of 
this institute is "Conserving and Preserving Library Materials." The title 
of the panel discussion is the role of commercial services in conservation 
and preservation. Mr. Anthony, in his talk, defined conservation as the 
preservation of material in its present state. Could you talk to the distinc- 
tion between preservation and conservation? 

Henderson: A couple of us who have written papers for this conference 
talked about this earlier today. We concluded that we tend to use preserva- 
tion and conservation interchangeably one term relieves the other if it 
seemed like we were getting a bit monotonous in the use of it in our 
manuscripts. I think you can make some subtle distinctions; if we had a 

160 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

dictionary here we could probably do it. Conservation is literally saving 
what you have in the way it is. There's a difference between conservation 
and preservation but the difference is a subtle one, and we're literally doing 
both. I see that Pam Darling is going to the microphone and she probably 
is the one who can define these terms. 

Pamela Darling (Association of Research Libraries): This is, as everyone 
knows, a perennial question and I think we're coming closer to an answer 
dian we have been up until now. It seems to me that if you look through the 
literature and in what has come to be more common usage now, preserva- 
tion is the broader term. Conservation, it seems to me, relates chiefly to 
those activities dealing with the care and treatment of the artifact. Preserva- 
tion encompasses that as well as all of the other programs for care, han- 
dling, and replacement, brittle books programs, as well as the 
administra-tion of all of the activities within a library that bear upon the 
condition of the collections. Now, you will sometimes find the terms 
defined in the literature in a reverse way. That is, there are some who say 
conservation is the broader term. However, it seems the preponderance of 
evidence is moving toward preservation as being the broader term. The fact 
that we use the term conservator to mean the person who deals in a 
hands-on way with the artifact, helps, I think, to confirm that. It will 
probably be another couple of years before we have really settled on that, 
but it seems to me that it is definitely going in that direction. 

James On (Hertzberg-New Method, Inc., Jacksonville, Illinois): I am 
going to turn it around a little bit. Maybe I could ask a question of you 
folks. When you send your work to a commercial bindery, do you send it to 
preserve it or do you send it to conserve it? Which of those two do you put 
the emphasis on, or do you? 

Unidentified: To restore it. 

Orr: What's your definition of restoration? (Editors' note: No response 

Philip Metzger (School of Medicine, Southern Illinois University at Car- 
bondale): I have a question for Mr. Orr about oversewing. We haven't 
heard too many kind words about oversewing lately, as you hinted, and, I 
think most of us would agree that oversewing is great for materials that 
will never be used once they are put on the shelf, but the process of using an 
oversewn book contributes to its destruction. Would you care to comment 
on that and say something about the future of oversewing? 

Orr: Yes, I would. First of all, I hope that when you think of a commercial 
binder you don't automatically think of oversewing because there are a 
number of other ways to bind a book. There is hand oversewing, or 
through sewing to tape, through sewing the core, and, of late, adhesive 

Role of Commercial Services 161 

binding. When the oversewing method was invented, binders, and proba- 
bly people in the libraries, thought it was the greatest thing since sliced 
bread, because it was extremely strong. It is strong binding but to oversew 
you must perforate each section from the top and the needles come up from 
the bottom, sewing section to section, so in essence what you have is a 
perforated section. Granted, if that paper becomes weak and acidic 
throughout its lifetime, the book isn't going to be all that strong. Now, of 
late, there are a lot of improvements in adhesives. When I'm talking about 
adhesives, I'm not talking about a hot melt (used by a lot of publishers and 
some binders). Hot melt has a memory and you can't round it and back it 
for a scoring action. We have been using a polyvinyl that is put on in a 
fanning method. It is put on much as in the European process where they 
use an Ehlermann machine. Of course, we have a certain combination of 
how we make the mixture. Of late we've been using it on very coated stocks, 
something unheard of before and it works very well. So, to answer your 
question precisely, I can see the industry leaning to adhesive binding, and 
of late, I've been through other binderies and I have seen the same indica- 
tions in those plants where they are starting to get in adhesive equipment 
and rely more on adhesive binding. We've been doing it for a long time 
now for books that have extremely narrow margins where there's no place 
to go regardless of whether you sew it by hand or hand oversew it, or 
whatever. There, the only thing that you can do is use an adhesive binding. 
There was some skepticism when adhesive bindings came out and I know 
they refer to adhesive binding as "perfect" binding. "Perfect" binding is a 
carry-over from the old days and has a bad connotation. So I like to call it 
adhesive binding and we, personally, put a guarantee on it an uncondi- 
tional guarantee dial this book is going to stand up just like any other 
book that we put out. That's how sure we are of it. 

Heinke Pensky-Adams (Monastery Hill Bindery, Chicago, Illinois): I have 
a question for Mr. Orr. What took you so long to get this message to this 
country? I know this adhesive has been used in Europe for about twenty 

Orr: Binders are very slow to move. Our association has been very slow to 
move and adopt any new changes. You're right! Before we adopted it, it 
was being used in Europe for five years prior to the time that we had it. 
Now that we're moving, we hope we can keep the ball rolling and the 
momentum up and that is where we intend to go. 

D.W. Krummel (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): In all fairness, you had a 
legendary freeze in New York State to worry about, didn't you? In the late 
fifties wasn't there a scandal perfect bound books rendered useless 
because the freeze had destroyed the binding substance? 

162 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

On: We didn't start to use this until 1961 when we used it on our paperback 
books. And, as everybody knows, the paperback was much smaller in 
format and the results were extremely good so we began to branch out into 
other books, and then into magazines. We didn't really start on magazines 
until maybe the late sixties. The only thing I can tell you about a freeze in 
the adhesive is that, when it is shipped, we can't ship it in the winter. We 
won't take it in the wintertime. It has to be very carefully guarded and not 
allowed to freeze. 

John Thompson (Billy Graham Center Library, Wheaton College, Whea- 
ton, Illinois): Most library bindings that I've been experienced with come 
back in buckram. Recently our binder has started to supply us with a 
synthetic book cloth. I believe it's produced by 3M. I was wondering if 
anyone is familiar with any tests performed on this. 

Orr: I have similar material right here. It's a type two material. We've tested 
it in the Universal Book Tester and the only thing mat I can tell you is that 
the results have been extremely favorable and have compared equally well 
to buckram. 

Henderson: On my office shelves, I have some samples of both this material 
and buckram that have been through his book tester. If any of you want to 
see them, you may do so. They wear a little bit differently but they wear 
about equally on either material. 

Anthony Amodeo (Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois): This is for Ms. 
Werling. We tried to do a project at the Newberry Library filmingpre-1500 
manuscripts, and, because of the tight bindings, we were restricted in the 
number that we were able to do. I'm wondering how you handle bindings 
that are tight. Do you have a cradle of some sort that takes 90-degree 
exposures, and if so, would your company be willing to rent it? 

Anita Werling (University Microfilms International): We do have a cradle 
camera that was designed for the filming of just the type of book that you 
described. We do have a number of those holders. Certainly I'd be happy to 
talk with you afterward about whether such arrangements could be made. 
But the camera bed itself is designed to hold the book at an opening that is 
slightly greater than ninety degrees, and pivots the volume in such a way 
that it is dien raised up against a flat glass plate and held there with just 
enough pressure to keep the page flat against the glass surface. We used this 
particular camera very successfully in the filming of dime novels at the 
University of Minnesota. And, as many of you are aware, the typical 
condition of dime novel collections, from the 1860s and 1870s, is that the 
paper was very high in acid. It was newsprint, basically. The materials are, 
in most cases, extremely brittle. If you touch them to read them, you've got 
crumbs all over the floor. We were able to film quite successfully with very 
little additional damage to these materials and that's an extreme case. 

Role of Commercial Services 163 

Amodeo: You don't manufacture this yourself, though? 

Werling: We did manufacture it ourselves, but we have made only two or 
three beds for specific applications. It may be possible to arrange for use of 
them elsewhere. 



Graduate School of Library and Information Science 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Kepler and His Custody; 

Scholarship and Conservation 


Johannes Kepler ends the preface to his Harmonice mundi of 1619 with 
these sentiments: "The die is cast; my book is written, to be read either now 
or posterity, I don't care. It may wait a century for a reader, much as God 
has waited six thousand years for an audience." 1 This moving statement of 
faith epitomizes the conservator's cause before the world of scholarship. Its 
sentiments are worth remembering; for if our libraries are to survive, their 
cause will need to be supported by the modern Keplers who use them, and 
who expect them to keep their work around for readers a century from 


What really can be expected from our scholarly researchers, thousands 
of them strong, spread across a Babel of disciplines and inquiries around 
the world, each of them preoccupied with the importance of their efforts 
and their centrality to learning and to the human condition? The 
researcher's first contribution is to the dialogue on policy; and it is prob- 
lematical insofar as it is ideological and political. The second involves 
practices of handling library materials; and it is basically so self-obvious as 
to be insulting. The third involves the prospect of better control over access 
and use; and it is painful to consider. All three involve commitments by 
scholars that are essential to the survival of our libraries; and each involves 
deeply felt attitudes, ingrained as part of the practice of their art, science, or 
craft. The 1976 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Detailed Specifi- 
cations are right in affirming "the fundamental requirement that preserva- 
tion...!^ seen as an inseparable part of the broader objective of extending 
access to recorded information...." The problem is merely one of reconcil- 
ing diachronous access and synchronous access: in order for Kepler to be 
accessible tomorrow, what must we do, and ask readers to do, today? 


166 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

It should be obvious, at the outset, that the aim of conservation is not 
to provide more materials for future generations to continue to conserve. 
Use of library materials has to be the aim: consulting, reading, experienc- 
ing and handling books. This fourth verb is the problem. Readers, no 
matter how fastidious their habits, will inevitably weaken the physical 
item in the act of handling it. Our growing awareness of the implications 
of the fact has been overshadowed by the very circumstance to which we 
attribute great libraries in our day, namely our pragmatic philosophy of 
library service. Serve our readers; the more our books are used, the better we 
achieve our objectives; and knowing what books are used, the more we can 
devote our attention to similar books so as to make our efforts and institu- 
tions the more useful; and the more we should concentrate our limited 
funds on immediate needs, such as will enhance this year's readership and 
next year's appropriations. Work for the definable objective, and, for the 
rest, dream and pray. The prevalent philosophy of librarianship, however 
praiseworthy in its own right, can obviously work against the objectives of 
library conservation, and of Kepler's vision. The fact remains that even 
Kepler tells us that his book is waiting for a reader. Ranganathan had it 
right in his first law: books are for use, the only questions being when and 

When we get around to writing the history of the modern library 
conservation movement, two events will probably stand out. One was a 
disaster namely, the Florence flood of 1966. The other was the recogni- 
tion of a handling problem, specifically, the discovery that the card catalog 
at the New York Public Library, as it was documenting the fact that a great 
institution had fulfilled its mission gloriously, was also suggesting that 
the institution as well as its catalog was working its way out of existence. 
The awareness of our handling problems goes back even further, of course. 
When William Blades included bigots, servants, and children among his 
enemies of books, 4 he did so in an "Upstairs-Downstairs" context that 
already suggests the recurring questions of "elitism." Randolph Adams's 
addition of librarians to the hit-list, 5 in retrospect, now seems intended for 
the purpose mostly of delivering a Calvinist sermon to the damned, thereby 
lining up the service-minded library profession against the cause of rare 
books and, with Blades in mind, of conservation as well. The list of 
enemies, of course, is much larger. The fullest catalog, to my knowledge, is 
one proposed some twenty-five years ago by Robert Land, who sees it as 
ranging "from religious zealots to unconscionable forgers, from brilliant 
scholars to ignorant housemaids, from collectors with delicate sensibilities 
to second-hand furniture dealers with indelicate sensibilities, from effi- 
ciency experts to inefficient file clerks, from royalty and the families of 
Presidents to butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers, and from censors to 
grangerizers." 6 

Kepler and His Custody 167 

The greatness of modern libraries has clearly been our reward for a 
profound concern for service to all of these; and to question its ideal would 
be both impolitic and wrong. But some basic distinctions do need to be 
kept in mind. There is a mighty important difference, for instance, 
between the library that stocks paperbacks to be worn out and discarded, 
and the librarian who condones theft and mutilation on grounds that the 
books are "at least getting used." Failure to be sensitive to the difference 
makes ours an uphill battle. Unless and until our cause can be understood, 
conservators will end up facing a mighty formidable, if fuzzy, array of 
ideological opponents. In that they may appear to withhold books from an 
enlightened populace, they line up against Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart 
Mill, and even Karl Marx. In their concern and affection for historical 
materials, they find themselves attacked by the old guard of social Darwin- 
ism and the new elite of the "paperless society." Finally (the crowning 
insult), to the heirs of Sigmund Freud, conservators will be seen as display- 
ing psychopathological symptoms that will be labeled as "anal-retentive." 

Under the circumstances, Kepler needs to come over to our side; we 
need his help. God can take the longer view of human destiny; but if 
Kepler's book is to be around a hundred years from now, Kepler will have 
to see himself not as part of the problem but as part of the solution. Back in 
the 1780s, soon after modern copyright was first established and as its 
impact was just coming to be sorted out, William Blackstone made a 
landmark analogy: the rights of an author to the rewards for personal 
creative efforts need to be counterbalanced by the rights of society to access 
to those ideas. So today's access needs to be counterbalanced by the rights of 
tomorrow's researchers. In devising our programs we need Kepler's sup- 
port, and his insight as well. It may be impossible and even dangerous to 
presume who among today's Keplers will be rediscovered in, say, A.D. 2050, 
2250, and 2550; who will rediscover them; for what reasons; and with what 
effects. The best we can do is talk to the Keplers of today, and learn how 
they are consulting the present record. There are, indeed, different kinds of 
research use, determined in great part by our different kinds of scholars, 
and with different conceptions of library conservation appropriate to each. 
Adapting another classic notion of Randolph Adams, 8 for instance, we 
might distinguish ( 1 ) general admirers from (2) readers interested mostly in 
the intellectual content and (3) bibliographers working with the physical 

With significant and inevitably, highly significant exceptions, the 
"high spots" in our collections are there mostly to be gazed at in the 
exhibition cases (or, as Adams grumbled, to be pawed over by the local Boy 

168 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Scouts). When last, as library administrators have been heard to muse, did 
anyone sit down and actually read a Shakespeare folio? Some books are like 
religious relics in a baroque monastery, more the verum corpus than the 
sanctus spiritus of our civilization; and for much of the public we serve, the 
act of worship is of profound significance. This situation will be particu- 
larly maddening to the zealous ascetics among us who come to be narrowly 
preoccupied with the intellectual content of our collections. 

Admittedly, even the robust hedonists among us still able to confess 
our love for books will be bothered to see how conservation funds become 
available for the spectacular but unused treasure, rather than for the tired 
but loyal reference book. Faith, not necessarily supported by any question- 
ing spirit at all, has nourished and probably will continue to nourish our 
collections and our conservation programs more than we care to admit. 
In contrast, there is library use that is commonly seen as involving the 
text exclusively: the ideas and their incorporation into a verbal (or 
mathematical, or musical; in any event, a formal) message. When the text 
can be shown to be the only thing that matters, the conservation options 
are different, as cheap and as numerous as they are obvious. Convert to 
another medium, be it film, reprints of widely consulted work, or digital 
storage; discard the original; and then worry about preserving the surro- 
gate medium. We have long done this with newspapers, and no doubt the 
practice will come to be extended to more and more library materials. 

Preservation of a sort can be accomplished through a transformation 
of the medium. In the history of civilization we have seen our intellectual 
diasporas; and in folk legend we have heard about Tarnhelms in the service 
of Valhalla. (One hopes for happier outcome.) The very principle of 
transformation of medium is profoundly disturbing insofar as it assumes a 
necessarily simplistic answer to the question of what constitutes the text 
itself. What is "original evidence"? The text, for instance, consists of both 
symbols and contexts. The latter must not be forgotten now if use of 
documents rather than mere preservation is the ultimate goal. Reading the 
New York Times on a rush-hour subway is simply not the same as reading 
it in front of a microfilm reader. (Part of the difference, as others have 
observed, is that you can't wrap fish in a microfilm.) Abrams art books 
simply do not look the same on coated paper and on screen projections. 
The images do not read in the same way: the very content is different, in 
ways that make the word aesthetic at once highly appropriate, much too 
broad, and very fuzzy. 9 Scholars working on the 1930s can gather some very 
meaningful impressions by comparing English paper and presswork with 
their German counterparts; but detailing the exact differences confounds 
the imagination. Even so, more library materials will surely need to be 
converted to nonprint media, and even conceived in terms of these media. 

Kepler and His Custody 169 

At this point, we must introduce our third group of readers, whose 
concern is "not the life-blood of a master spirit but a collection of pieces of 
paper with printing on them." 10 Our bibliographers will clearly under- 
stand the Platonic distinction between the physical and the intellectual 
book. 11 They might then also appear to be the conservator's true soul 
mates. Alas, not necessarily so. Eventually they usually will want to dig 
into the gutters and bend back the headcaps in search of a cancel stub, or 
perform irreparable minor surgery with a penknife or even a ball-point 
pen. They have been known to dangle large folios by a single leaf as they 
hold the sheet up to the light in search for the chain lines or watermark. 
And asked what to do with a book that is falling apart, they will consider 
and reply, "nothing at all." Meanwhile, our crystal balls threaten us with 
the prospect that these readers will consist of more and more of our visitors. 
The reasoning behind such a prospect, admittedly, is probably too obvious 
to be trustworthy. Even so, the justification of our conservation efforts for 
bibliographical study is a particularly compelling one, especially insofar 
as our bibliographers serve to epitomize the scrupulous scholar's passion- 
ate search for and commitment to what lawyers call "best evidence." 

Familiarity with the practices and intentions in creating library mate- 
rials should qualify our bibliographers to help us in addressing the ques- 
tion of context just mentioned. The thought of playing God, consigning 
some originals to oblivion but not others, is acceptable and flattering 
enough for any scholar; but finding authoritative grounds on which to do 
so is another matter. What exactly is there about reading John Dryden in 
an original folio that is different from reading him in a new paperback? To 
turn to timely examples, should any library really wish to bind the latest 
copies of Harper's, or the Times Literary Supplement, or AB/ Bookman's 
Weekly or even College fc Research Libraries (let alone CRL News)'? 
Specificially, is there really enough or anything lost in content 
through consulting a film or photocopy, so as to justify the expense in 
binding and maintaining the originals? The bibliographer might perhaps 
be excused for begging off the decision on whether Playboy demands color 
film rather than black-and-white; but for expertise based on the practices of 
printing, the aesthetics of the graphic arts, and the likely dangers of "best 
evidence" being lost, the bibliographer is very much needed. 

Ultimately, however, each of our three "special interest lobbies" has to 
be seen as contributing part, but not all, of the solution to our problems. 
Admittedly, the reasoning for this pluralism may not look all that good: 
our best defense is to confuse the issue through the bold, romantic plea that 
"the medium is the message." We must fall back on that sentimental and 
libertarian notion of the "unity of learning." In specific instances, one of 
our three prototypical readers may emerge as the likely objective in guid- 

170 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

ing a conservation decision; but for conservation policy in general, all 
three must be recognized. 

No less problematic, meanwhile, is the question of who we talk to as 
the representative of our readership. The topic is filled with ironies. For 
instance, in an age of specialization, the more eminent the scholars, the 
more limited their perspective and the more unreasonable their demands 
are likely to be. Given an opportunity to help, they will typically devise 
exciting, new, and very expensive "state-of-the-art" models rather than 
address present predicaments. The doctoral students who rewrite their 
professors' dissertations are no great problem. Those who rewrite history 
and who realign our disciplines are the ones who ruin our programs, louse 
up our classification schemes, and prove to us that we have been preserving 
the wrong materials. 

But can we expect much more by turning to that fashionable world of 
library user studies? The consensus to date, naturally, suggests that more 
work needs to be done. 12 And the notion of dynamic scholarship by its very 
nature implies that today's findings may be inappropriate tomorrow. Even 
so, a good deal of damage has already been done. The simplistic patterns 
have so far suggested that new books are consulted more often than older 
ones, and thus that books are most likely to be consulted within the first 
few years after their appearance. Besides infuriating our historians, the 
immediate implications have naturally been to work against the cause of 
conservation in general: why preserve what so few will ever use? More 
precisely, the enlightened but politically sensitive administrator will inev- 
itably ask why so much of a budget should be given over to materials that 
stand the lesser chance of being consulted. 

The standard advice for librarians, however, has long been to go to 
those who have most benefited from the collection for advice and support. 
The instincts of a seasoned scholar preferably, of course, one of wide 
experience and long involvement are likely to be able to tell us whether 
the new bibliography will allow us to discard the superseded one, or retire 
it to the stacks, or restore it to stand next to the new one on the reference 
shelf, or refurbish it for the rare book room. Our user studies mostly are still 
too stochastic to tell us even whether our Kepler editions are being used by 
students or professors who are unable to get their call numbers right, or by 
admirers on their pilgrimages, or by students needing simply to verify 
citations, or by astronomers about to discover a relationship that has been 
neglected for 350 years. 

Related to these aspects of our dialogue with scholars, of course, is the 
sheer burgeoning complexity of learning today. The one big feuding 
family may be what keeps the library fairly neutral and honest; it is also the 
source of the best advice and the worst advice we will ever get. The 
conservation dialogue is comparable in some ways to the acquisitions 

Kepler and His Custody 171 

dialogue. The point is worth making, although there are some basic 
differences, the obvious one being a comparison of the fifteenth- and the 
nineteenth-century historian. In acquisitions, we can usually dismiss the 
former with travel money while we build a collection for the latter; in 
conservation, on the other hand, we can usually take the former quite 
seriously in his concern for working on our local holdings, whereas for the 
nineteenth-century specialist we need to mumble assurances about mass 
deacidification being just around the corner. But pursuing this matter in 
any productive detail would quickly get into deep waters of another kind; 
let us instead briefly turn to a second major topic, the question of getting 
our Keplers to handle materials properly. 

The basic problem is that proper handling is so much a matter of mere 
thoughtfulness. Outright malice does indeed take place scribbling, arti- 
cles razored from a periodical, defacement. Mark Twain once announced 
his preferences for a thin book because it would steady a table, a leather 
volume because it would strop a razor, and a heavy book because it could be 
thrown at a cat; 13 and as we chuckle, perhaps we should make sure that his 
books be kept in an area apart from that keeping our Keplers. In fact, 
thoughtless mistreatment is much more common than mischievous. And it 
is most likely to occur in the moment of use, which is also likely to be the 
moment of discovery. The flash of insight too easily blinds the reader to 
that essential quality of content and form, of intellectual book and physi- 
cal book. It probably follows that the more inspired the reader, the greater 
die danger. 

The ensuing mischief, unfortunately, is also likely to resemble the 
great moments of Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, or Laurel and Hardy. The 
key ingredient is preoccupation. And no rational instruction or admoni- 
tion can anticipate its forms, except to observe after the event that the 
worthiest of intentions are customarily undermined by glorious spectacles 
of human fallibility. For this reason, as others have remarked, the Univer- 
sal Book Tester may fail us for being too rational. 

The cause is almost always undermined by an honest and direct 
appeal to reason. This very point, I sense, was well recognized in that 
admirable slide show developed by the Yale conservation program last 
spring. Some of its scenes are simply too delicious to be true except that 
we have all seen similar circumstances, and all too often. One more of 
Blades's enemies, alas, has to be identified under the heading of sheer 

Thus while we should defer to his great experience, it may be hard to 
agree with Edwin Williams's recent lament that the mishandling of books 

172 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

is increased through administrative patterns requiring the senior staff to 
delegate the day-to-day work in the collections to less respectful juniors. 14 
It is standard etiquette for old-timers to regret publicly their inability to 
work with the books any longer; and bless them all for expressing these 
regrets. In fact, handling is probably best done by the most alert and least 
preoccupied members of the staff; inculcating respect is much of the 
problem. As for the library readership, mass-printed instructional remind- 
ers, as brief as possible such as are found at the reader's desk in major 
research libraries, but which might also be inserted today at a circulation 
desk are probably well worth the effort. 1 

Digressing from the topic for the moment, let me propose that there is 
one simple resolve among all others that needs to be forced through, with 
as much noise, solidarity, and urgency as possible. Too much of our 
photocopying equipment calls for the most unnatural act that a book can 
be subjected to. Flipping a book over facedown on a copying plate too 
clearly shows an utter disregard for the physical construction on cords and 
covers, all the more so in that it requires lifting off, turning right-side up, 
and then flipping over for each page-turn. The only possible benefit could 
be an exposure of the basic danger in oversewing, admittedly; but this price 
is much too high to pay. Much like the Luddites 150 years ago who broke 
up the looms in the English Midlands, so perhaps we need our sledge- 
hammer wielding Xerites (or Savites) today the "Carrie Nations of 
Conservation" brigade, perhaps at least until such times as the ALA, 
SLA, ARL, and NCLIS can demand copying machines that photograph 
from above, in the manner of a hospital X-ray. Such observations are not 
meant to disparage the photocopy as an aid to scholarship. On the con- 
trary, the camera has been a vast and unsung benefit to learning, saving 
time, insuring an accurate transcript of a text, and making possible the 
comparison of distant copies side by side. Along the way it has no doubt 
saved wear and tear on books as well. Rather, the price we have been paying 
is too high insofar as it was, and really continues to be, so unnecessarily 

The third contribution Kepler can make to his cause would appear to 
be the most painful and counterproductive of all: the library can be used 
under diminished and restricted circumstances. The mere suggestion has, 
of course, more than once evoked a classic response: fire the librarian! The 
topic is one that still needs to be addressed. Selling it to our researchers in 
effect, asking them (as B.F. Skinner might have it) to forgo their freedom 
and dignity could be less of a problem than determining what exactly 
they might appropriately be asked to forgo. 

Kepler and His Custody 173 

Indeed, there is a wide range of precedents involving readers working 
under circumstances more restricted than we generally know today. The 
idea that libraries should provide for circulating collections at all, in fact, 
is mostly a product of the eighteenth -century Enlightenment. Even 
through the nineteenth -century, great "reference" libraries continued to be 
established, this term set up in contradistinction to the "circulating" 
collections. Among research libraries in Europe today, the so-called 

Ifi ' 

Prdzensbibliothek is the rule more than the exception. Special dispensa- 
tions over the years, and the pressure to attract greater readership, have 
inevitably tended to relax our policies. This liberalization took place, of 
course, in those innocent days before our conservation predicament was 
even recognized. 

The inconvenience of reading on the premises as opposed to taking 
the books to the study or home is in many ways analogous to taking the 
trouble to go to a play or concert instead of watching the play on television, 
or hearing the music at home. Those who go to the effort swear by their 
practices to the point of exhilaration if not of boredom: one sees, learns, 
understands more by consulting a book in its proper library context, even if 
it means, along the way, eating German food or arguing with Paris 
merchants or coping with Italian plumbing or freezing in February in the 
Bodleian. Furthermore, at the library one meets kindred spirits, becomes 
part of the gossip circles, and is stimulated to explore unsuspected fields. 

Do readers actually learn more from reading under restricted condi- 
tions? And are noncirculating copies really likely to be handled any better 
than circulating ones? Both ideas seem plausible; but testing either would 
be quite impossible. What is almost certain is that restrictive policies that 
are conspicuously wise are also impossible. The best of intentions usually 
produces another fine range of ironies, conundrums, anomalies, Catch- 
22s, exposed flanks, and vicious circles. Calling on our Keplers for help in 
setting up intelligent programs, and asking their indulgence in forgoing 
access these are likely to be lesser problems than those we will face later 
on as we ask them for help and sympathy when things go wrong. Let me 
identify some of the likely problems that will arise. 

First, what should be restricted? The decision has actually already 
been addressed fairly extensively and quite intelligently. Curiously, the 
basic criteria for "what makes a rare book" identify the targets for conserva- 
tion, but for some what different and strange reasons. Scarcity, for instance, 
justifies attention in that it reminds us of our precarious ties with the past; 
the dealer's market value rises with a conservator's anxiety. As for market 
value, it offers conservators their most convincing cases in arguing with 
business-minded administrators. Date of publication can also be a handy 
expedient insofar as it enables us to devote attention first to those easy 
problems from the age of handmade paper, deferring to later the acid 

174 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

problems of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Add to this the fact 
that our bibliophiles are the readers most likely to be attentive and sympa- 
thetic to the condition and handling of physical books, and the rare-book 
context of conservation becomes clearly understood. 

Paul Banks is among the first to specify a different criterion called 
"permanent research value." His term is characteristically sensible and 
his case typically persuasive; alas, the more closely we look at the idea, the 
less happy it becomes. The basic problem is the dynamic nature of research 
itself. If we accept a Baconian definition of science, we can proceed in 
comfort. We are now accommodating the doctoral students who rewrite 
their professors' dissertations; and eventually we will be maintaining 
libraries to be worshiped as much as fought over. But for better or worse, 
Baconian science is now past us. Researchers now think of "paradigms," 
arising, changing, and disappearing with later "scientific revolutions." 
Even our historians enjoy evoking the concept of "revisionism," whether 
noisily or implicitly. This search for new perspectives, of course, is pre- 
cisely what produces what Gordon Ray once identified as the "fertile 
chaos" of scholarship. Rather than proposing that there is any such thing 
as "permanent research value," we might better remember that most 
anything and therefore everything has potential value. If Bernard 
Bailyn is justified in advising us to preserve "latent" as well as "manifest" 
history, 18 how can we ever wish to save anything less than the totality of the 
record of civilization? Thomas Tanselle, for instance, argues effectively for 
preserving book jackets 19 and for collecting other than first editions. 20 Such 
visions are what keep our research librarians young in spirit as they 
continue to scramble for the document they just threw away. 21 

One genre in particular, meanwhile, may deserve special isolated 
treatment. Periodicals are an endless and limitless nuisance to librarians, 
but they are also the very lifeblood of scholars; and while no drastic action 
seems appropriate just now, for several reasons we may need to consider 
extensive and arbitrary restrictions very soon. However hopelessly ill- 
defined the genre itself, whatever it is, is eating up more and more of our 
budgets. Its internal content is under weak bibliographical control 
through conventional cataloging, and thus readers will want to browse. 
This last factor, and the relatively predictable short-term growth patterns, 
probably argue against compact storage at the same time. The contents, in 
their customary brevity, are particularly vulnerable to the devastation of 
the copying machine, all the more's the pity since these are books that so 
often have been oversewn. If any one area needs attention more than others 
in the stacks, this is probably the one. 

In discussing specific materials, that flamboyant notion of an "endan- 
gered titles list" 22 may yet be worth scholarly consideration. The problem 
lies not with the sentiment behind the ecological analogy but with the 

Kepler and His Custody 175 

extravagant implications of the idea. Of the (wildly guessing) 30 million 
titles issued since Gutenberg's day, an amazing and disturbing proportion 
exist in single recorded copies. (Of the early Low German titles in Borch- 
ling and Classen for instance, Taylor Starck tells us that 60 percent exist in 
single copies, and only 14 percent in three copies or more. 23 Modern 
titles Wright American fiction, for instance survive better; but when 
to paraphrase Huxley on Pope do we have enough copies to be out of 
danger?) Furthermore, bibliographers stand in justified awe at what Fal- 
coner Madan called the "duplicity of duplicates." Even so, there is good 
work to be done in developing conservation programs with the biblio- 
graphical record in mind. 

We should also remember that today's most conspicuous, and some- 
times the most successful, restriction programs approach the problem 
from the opposite direction, controlling readers rather than materials. To 
handle the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem, or the Book of Kells in Dublin, or 
the Washington or Adams papers in Boston, one must present established 
credentials. Restrictions like these, of course, have obvious analogies in the 
scientific community: it is very difficult, I suspect, to go in off the street in 
Los Alamos and be allowed to smash a few atoms, or to use "state-of-the- 
art" machinery in our great research labs. What is called for are credentials, 
and a "need to know." 

Restricting readers is a treacherous business, as public librarians in 
particular can assure us. My own experience at the Newberry in the early 
1960s suggests that the choice is between the arbitrary and ridiculous, and 
the flexible and ridiculous. Admit only card-carrying members of profes- 
sional societies? Exclude high school students (thereby allowing high 
school dropouts to be admitted)? Admit only those over eighteen (thereby 
excluding the precocious)? Exclude those who demonstrably haven't 
bathed in six months? Such are among the considerations that always have 
made and always will make library work essentially labor-intensive, and 
more to the point, learning-intensive and sensitivity-intensive. As for that 
frightening phrase, "need to know," it can only evoke the most negative 
impressions of Big Brother, officially sanctioned research, and intellectual 
suppression. It is very hard to justify on any grounds, except perhaps in 
dealing with sleight-of-hand artists or those Christian Scientists 24 with 
known kleptomaniac tendencies. 

Furthermore, the natural at least, the desirable outgrowth of 
greater control is an enlargement (or redefinition) of our rare book facili- 
ties. Can we afford this? Even if we should look for a model in such 
operations, it is well to remember that so many of them are more impres- 
sive than functional. The carpets may be thick and the tables big, but 
usually the paging is inadequate, the room badly controlled (either from 
the external entry or from the bookstack entry if not from both), the space 

176 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

extravagant, and the noise level high; and the changing needs of readers 
for typing, spreading out papers, storing many books, conversation, using 
the telephone badly accommodated. Meanwhile, our instincts for control 
through closed-circuit television do battle with our faith in civil liberties. 
(I could accept the former; many of my more conservative colleagues could 
not.) Do we really want all of our Keplers around under such 
circumstances further remembering their propensities for distracting the 
staff with idle chatter and endless complaints? Furthermore, in time our 
Keplers have more than once ended up thinking they own the place. 

One sensible-sounding alternative may be seen, mostly in European 
libraries. One is expected to use a photocopy first, turning to an original 
only as a "last resort." The practice is beset by two fallacies, the one almost 
but not quite facetious, the other very real. On the facetious side: how can 
one expect to see anything at all after one has been blinded by badly 
designed microform reading equipment? More real: what can one expect to 
find in the photocopy if one is not alerted by idiosyncrasies not picked up 
from the original? Occasionally a very well done photofacsimile will 
suggest differences in paper, such as might point to different printing 
conditions. But the recently returned holograph music manuscripts in 
East Berlin clearly show different darkness in the ink on various pages, 
distinguishing composers' first thoughts from their afterthoughts, such as 
were not noticeable on the luxurious facsimiles prepared before the War. 
As for the laboratory documentation in a scientific experiment, it is well to 
remember that falsification with an eraser will hardly ever be detectable, 
and never provable, on a photocopy. 25 A scholar needs "best evidence," and 
for all their great and monumental advantages the problem with photoco- 
pies of any kind is that you can't tell what you can't tell. The problem is not 
one of graphic resolution, of definition being lost; rather, what is lost the 
ultimate irreversibility is the evidence itself. On much published matter 
there is likely to be no problem, other than the fundamental problem of 
when to know that you may have a problem. 

One step beyond the library-backup to photocopy consultation, in 
which one has final recourse to the original, is the library set up exclusively 
for preservation, accessible only through photocopies. This is the library 
set up by Gordon Williams at the North Pole and moved by Edwin 
Williams to the Greenland Icecap. 26 By way of contributing to this particu- 
lar dialogue, let me introduce the possibility of refrigerated bookmobiles, 
traveling through our Western states disguised as portable silos. Besides 
confusing the Russians, such a plan would stimulate the national econ- 
omy (especially the manufacturers of refrigerated bookmobiles), and it 
would make library statistics in these states all the more impressive. More 
seriously, we do have an interesting model for restricted access in the 
National Register of Microform Masters. As stated in the introduction to 

Kepler and His Custody 177 

the volumes of the Register, the principle is that "no film is listed. ..which, 
to the knowledge of the editors, is available for patrons or clients of an 
institution to use as a reading copy." The principle is well delimited, even 
if the enforcement is less than trustworthy; and above all, the appropriate- 
ness as part of the overall plan for conserving library materials, while very 
useful, is still secondary. 

In 1749 Lord Chesterfield announced to his son: "Due attention to the 
inside of books, and due contempt for the outside, is the proper relation 
between a man of sense and his books." 27 His sentiments, miguided as they 
are, do hold wide favor in our scholarly communities, even in our own 
community of librarianship as well. At times, considering the vastness and 
the complexity of the problem, we can understandably sympathize. But for 
better or worse, the classic distinction between physical form and intellec- 
tual content will not go away. No matter how illustrious or preoccupied 
the scholar, the medium is necessary, with all of its limitations and pecu- 
liarities. Our scholars' access is through that medium. And their rights to 
access extend into the future as much as they exist today. If their own 
contributions are to be available a hundred years hence, they must be asked 
to be sensitive to the problem, and sympathetic to the need for policy and to 
the inevitable shortcomings of our programs. Kepler could be part of that 
scientific tradition that plotted and thus predicted the courses of the 
planets. The course of the use of books and libraries through history, on 
the other hand, if it will or should ever be predictable at all, is a matter to be 
understood some distance in the future. Conservation and civilization have 
to depend on one another. 


1. See Kepler, Johannes. "Prooemium." In Gesammelte Werke, edited by Max von 
Caspar, lines 181-84. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1940. (Si ignoscitis, gaudebo; si succensetis, feram; 
jacio en aleam, librumque scribo, seu praesentibus, seu posteris legendum, nihil interest: 
expectet ille suum lectorem per annos centum; si Deus ipse per annorum sena millia 
contemplatorem praestoatus est.) 

2. In this discussion it can rather simplistically be assumed that (a) any reader who 
reads a lot is a scholar, (b) any scholar who stops reading a lot is no longer a scholar, and 
(c) any further attempt at differentiation would be presumptuous. On such nai've and hopeful 
assumptions the work of the conservator, necessarily, must be based. This approach would 
not of course be appropriate to many other discussions of the scholarly use of libraries. 

3. Haas, Warren J. "Author's Abstract." In Preparation of Detailed Specifications fora 
National System for the Preservation of Library Materials, compiled by the Association of 
Research Libraries, p. ii. Washington, D.C.: HEW, 1976. 

4. Blades, William. The Enemies of Books. London: Elliot Stock, 1888. 

178 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

5. Adams, Randolph G. "Librarians as Enemies of Books." Library Quarterly 7(July 

6. Land, Robert H. "Defense of Archives Against Human Foes." American Archivist 

7. I say this in respectful deference, of course, to Isaac Asimov's "Foundation and 
Empire" books. 

8. I must confess to having failed to find the best source. Adams's general idea is that he 
really needed three copies of a given rare book (sometimes specified as the Nuremberg 
chronicle): one for readers to read, one for exhibition (or, as sometimes cited, for the local Boy 
Scouts to examine), and one to be preserved for posterity. Other classic differentiations 
between the kinds of reading would probably be no less usefully applied to the matter of 
conservation, i.e., Coleridges's sponges, sand-glasses, strain-bags, and mogul diamonds; 
Richard Heber's show, use, and borrowing (perhaps Adams's model); Sir John Denham's 
wisdom, piety, delight, and use; and above all Bacon's ants, spiders, and bees analogy, also the 
essay on studies. 

9. Among the few writings on the subject, see Jackson, William A. "Some Limitations 
on Microfilm." Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 35(1941):282-88;and Cum- 
mings, Lawrence A. "Pitfalls of Photocopy Research." Bulletin of the New York Public 
Library 65(196 1):97- 101. 

10. Wilson, F.P. "Shakespeare and the 'New Bibliography.'" In The Bibliographical 
Society, 1892-1942: Studies in Retrospect. London: The Bibliographical Society, 1945, p. 95. 

1 1 . The distinction is well developed in Tanselle, G. Thomas. "Bibliographers and the 
Library." Library Trends 25(April 1977):745-62. See also, Brynolfson, Gaylord. "Book as 
Object." In Preservation of Library Materials, edited by Joyce R. Russell, pp. 45-49. New 
York: Special Libraries Association, 1980. 

12. The literature has been well surveyed recently in Gapen, D. Kaye, and Milner, Sigrid 
P. "Obsolescence." Library Trends 30(Summer 1981):107-24. 

13. Quoted in Starrett, Vincent. '"High Spots' and Other Mysteries." in his Books Alive, 
p. 348. New York: Random House, 1940. Other relevant impressions are suggested in 
Bamberger, Fritz. Books are the Best Things: An Anthology from Old Hebrew Writings. 
Philadelphia: Maurice Jacobs, 1962, p. 14. ("A teacher should not strike his pupil with a 
book, and the student should not ward off a blow with a book. ...Do not use a book to protect 
yourself against sun or smoke. Do not keep books together with food lest mice be lured by the 
food to nibble at the books. If a book does not close easily, do not force it together with your 

14 Quoted in LJ Hotline 10(26 Oct. 1981):!. 

15. Collections and analysis of the handling statements distributed by libraries to their 
readers could be a very useful effort. Notable among these is the one used in the North Library 
at the British Library (copies of which were kindly supplied by Mr. David Paisey). Some 
statements involve particular library settings ("Do not put books on the floor"), but others 
would seem to be more widely applicable ("Do not lean on books while reading," or "Do not 
write on paper resting on a book, open or closed"). Above all, the tone of Nicolas Barker's 
statement strikes a happy balance between talking down and talking up to the readers. For an 
alternative that captures the element of slapstick, see the 24-page pamphlet prepared by the 
Public Archives of Canada in 1977, entitled, A Guide to the Preservation of Archival Mate- 
rials. Bibliographic instruction, meanwhile, should not be overlooked as a forum for intro- 
ducing to readers the concern for proper handling. 

16. The basic points are well explored in Press, Richard L. "The Non-Circulating 
Academic Research Library: A Paradigm for Change." Library Journal 98(1973):2821-23. 

17. Banks, Paul N. "Some Problems in Book Conservation." Library Resources ir 
Technical Services 12(1968):332ff. 

18. Paraphrased and summarized in LJ Hotline 10(26 Oct. 1981):!. 

19. Tanselle, G.Thomas. "Book-Jackets, Blurbs, and Bibliographers." The Library, 5th 
series, 26(197 1):91 -134. 

20. . "Non-Firsts." In Collectible Books: Some New Paths, edited by Jean 

Peters, pp. 1-31. New York: Bowker, 1979. 

Kepler and His Custody 179 

21. Under the circumstances, particularly relevant to this discussion is Asheim, Lester. 
"Not Censorship but Selection." Wilson Library Bulletin 53(1953):63-67. 

22. The basic statement, to my knowledge, is the brief presentation in the second 
paragraph under the rubric in Association of Research Libraries. Preparation of 
Detailed Specifications for a National System for the Preservation of Library Materials. 
Washington, D.C.: HEW, 1976, p. 20. 

23. Starck, Taylor. "The Fate of Old Low German Printings: A Preliminary Report." In 
Humaniora; Essays in Literature, Folklore, Bibliography Honoring Archer Taylor.... Locust 
Valley, N.Y.: J.J. Augustin, 1960, pp. 69-77. 

24. The legend, whether in fact true or not, is described, for instance, in Braden, Charles 
S. Christian Science Today. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1969, pp. 187-89. 

25. Scientific experiments, to be accepted by the scientific community, must be 
replicable; but meanwhile, the precise evidence on which the inferences were based, or even 
the exact conditions necessary for the replication cannot always be uncontrovertably specified 
in the published description. It is not always so much that the limitations of the publication 
format will exclude the detailed peripheral information that specifies exactly what evidence 
was recorded and what delimitations were accepted, but rather that the delimitations are 
unemselves likely to be the subject of subsequent concern. Archival preservation of raw data 
and other primary records is likely to be ultimately crucial, commensurate of course with the 
protection of such confidence as may be appropriate in work with human subjects. The 
importance of primary evidence should haunt the reader of such major writings on scientific 
frauds as Zuckerman, Harriet. "Deviant Behavior and Social Control in Science." In Deviance 
and Social Change, edited by Edward Sagarin, pp. 87-138. Beverly Hills, Calif, and London: 
Sage Publications, 1977; also for some of the discussions of specific instances, see Willmott, 
Peter. "Integrity in Social Science the Upshot of Scandal." International Social Science 
Journal 29(1977):333-36; or Hunt, Morton. "A Fraud dial Shook the World of Science." New 
York Times Magazine, 1 Nov. 1981, pp. 42-75 passim. In this field, the work of the Joint 
Committee on the Archives of Science and Technology (involving the Society of American 
Archivists, the History of Science Society, the Society for the History of Technology, and the 
Association of Records Managers and Administrators) is particularly important; and a key 
document is their "Premilinary Report" on The Documentation of Science and Technology 
in America: Needs and Opportunities, May 1980, see especially pp. 19-21. An important 
related perspective is provided in Lide, David R., Jr. "Critical Data for Critical Needs." 
Science 212(19 June 1981):1343-49. 

26. Williams, Edwin E. "Deterioration of Library Collections Today." Library 
Quarterly 40(1970):16. 

27. Lord Chesterfield to his son, letter 174, 10 Jan. 1749, as quoted in his Works. New 
York: Harper, 1855, p. 239. 


Director of Library Services 

Morris Library 
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale 

The Role and Responsibility 

of the Library in 
Preservation and Conservation 


This institute has been a fine learning experience for me. It has offered a 
valuable mix of preservation topics. It is an important link in the chain of 
relatively recent meetings about a subject receiving increasing attention. 
Admittedly, no program can expect to be all things to all people, but this 
one has offered much to many. In two and a half days we have briefly 
dipped into the past, spent considerable time on the present and tried to 
focus on the future. Many questions have been asked, some have been 
answered and some directions have been established. It is to be hoped that 
each person will leave this institute with some valuable information, a 
greater awareness of the magnitude of the problem, a renewed determina- 
tion to find answers to his/her library's preservation needs, or at least a 
desire to contribute to the resolution of the problems still facing us in this 
multifaceted and challenging field. 

Those preceding me have shared valuable insights into this complex 
and important matter. These insights come from pioneers as well as from 
recent entrants in the field. Preservation of library materials literature dates 
back several years but becomes substantial during the 1970s and is prolifer- 
ating now. The field is so new that terminology is still being defined, a 
philosophy is still emerging, a rationale is still developing, approaches are 
still being sought, and library administrators are still seeking ways to fund 
library preservation programs. In fact, this library administrator is still 
wondering why he was even invited to participate in this program with 
such notables. Perhaps my contribution stems from experience in research 
libraries generally, and from almost two years of involvement with a 


182 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

rapidly developing conservation program at Southern Illinois University 
at Carbondale (SIUC) specifically, neither of which qualifies me as an 
expert no matter how you define the word. However, with excellent help 
from some of those who have spoken earlier and from my own conserva- 
tion colleagues, especially Carolyn Morrow, I shall launch into what I see 
as the role and responsibility of the library in preservation and 

While reading a 1977 article by Terry Belanger, 1 who is involved in 
conservation from a rare books point of view, I was struck by the question 
he seemed to be asking: "Why do we acquire for our libraries that for which 
we cannot care?" A simple question, but one for which there is no simple 
answer. On the one hand, we weakly argue that we don't intend to keep for 
long periods of time much of what is acquired for our libraries. On the 
other hand, we boast that we acquire research materials to support long- 
standing academic programs knowing that they will exist for many years. 
We proudly point out that we acquire materials for new and developing 
fields of knowledge. No matter how you look at it, we are building library 
collections for the future. Though we discard some material along the way, 
we purposefully keep, for as long as possible, the majority of our material 
because it contains information which supports the research and curricu- 
lar needs of our institution. 

We spend thousands of dollars to install security systems and pay 
people to sit at library exits to "insure" that materials are properly charged 
so they will be returned for future use. We also identify many of our 
resources as noncirculating because of their value. Now the obvious 
paradox: we acquire for the future, and build in elaborate and extremely 
expensive tracking (circulation control) and security systems, yet pay little 
attention to the quality of the vehicle in which the information is carried 
(paper, film, etc.), the manner in which it is handled, and the environment 
in which it is stored. We will subject the information carrier to adverse 
humidity, light, temperature and pollutant levels in its storage place; 
rough handling by unconcerned or untrained staff; book returns which 
could double as trash compactors; stressful shelving positions; and envi- 
ronments vulnerable to water, fire, insect, and rodent damage. A compre- 
hensive library preservation program would address all of these issues as 
well as disaster preparedness and appropriate binding, repair, and restora- 
tion practices. 

To do the job right would be too costly, right? I would argue that to do 
the job poorly is even more costly. This statement may be an oversimplifi- 
cation, but let's take a closer look. Basically, we have two challenges. The 
first is how to cope with the resources and facilities we presently have or, to 
state it another way, how to cure the ailments caused by so many past 
mistakes. The second challenge is to insure that steps are taken to prevent 

Role and Responsibility of the Library 183 

the same mistakes from happening again. In other words, we are faced with 
impeding the deterioration of our present collections on one hand and 
with preventing deterioration of future collections on the other. The first 
challenge is probably the most expensive and overwhelming. The second 
is more manageable. I dare say that every library could begin today, at little 
or no cost, to apply preventive measures which would save considerable 
future "cure" money. 


To begin with, before progress can be made, those who are responsible 
for the decision making and policy setting in the library must become 
aware of the need for a comprehensive conservation program. This aware- 
ness is increasing in the profession as a result of the relatively recent 
literature blitz, programs such as this which have been held over the past 
decade, the emphasis placed on it in the American Library Association 
(ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) project, and many 
other state and nationally funded activities. 

Once administration is convinced of the need, the next step is to 
establish the need in the minds of library staff at all levels. Robert H. 
Patterson suggests the use of a well-chosen committee to insure a broad- 
based approach. I agree with Patterson that: 

It is vital that conservation be viewed from a systems approach involving 
the entire library context in which materials are selected, processed, 
housed, utilized, and cared for. To concentrate upon only one of these 
elements is to lose sight of many important factors in the life-cycle of 
materials and the ways in which they are used. 2 

The committee approach has several advantages. Patterson continues: 

if the committee membership is broadly and thoughtfully constituted, 
conservation education is disseminated widely through the library, into 
areas where this heightened awareness is most useful and applicable. 
This approach also insures a broad base of support for conservation 
programs, creating a general interest rather than a narrow-based concern 
coming from only one department or division. It is important. ..that all 
areas within the library with real or potential conservation responsibili- 
ties be involved in the committee. 3 

It is so important to have broad staff interest and support early on that 
I'd like to spend a few moments on this. Preservation and conservation are 
generally viewed by staff as costly add-ons to existing demands on their 
time and budget, instead of as valuable processes which, if interspersed 
through all aspects of their jobs, will result in better service to the library 
user as well as in dollar savings. Like most changes, if conservation and 

184 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

preservation are viewed as being imposed from the top or as being the 
concern of only a small number in the organization, the program is in fora 
rocky future. Conversely, problems will appear if the preservation pro- 
gram is too heavily dependent upon committee efforts. Strong support 
from the top is also needed for a successful preservation program. 

To strike a balance, then, between a top- and grassroots-implemented 
program is the goal. This balance will insure strong support and commit- 
ment at all levels for the program. Leadership at the top is needed to train, 
direct, listen, design, set resource support parameters and evaluate, while 
staff is needed to engender enthusiasm, carry out the plans, give initial 
feedback, educate the library user, and make program modification sugges- 
tions. A program, especially a new one, will function much more smoothly 
and will have a greater chance of success if this kind of teamwork is evident. 

Let me illustrate. A smoothly functioning organization might be 
visualized as a sphere rolling along at a comfortable pace. All parts of the 
organization are interacting with a single purpose. Then one day, someone 
suggests an idea which necessitates change in the organization. This 
change causes stress because it requires adjustments in schedules, reloca- 
tion of parts of the organization, additional training, and changes in 
thought patterns, routines, and working partners. The change (in this 
case, the addition of a conservation program) requires additional funds, 
people, supplies, and equipment, or a reallocation of such. The stress 
becomes more severe in those parts of the organization from which resour- 
ces are being siphoned. As this siphoning occurs, stress increases and the 
organization takes on the shape of a sphere with a bulge on its surface. The 


the change 

bulge represents the part of the organization into which the dollar and 
human resources, including considerable human energies, are being 
directed. We all know how difficult it is to handle a ball containing a 
bulge. This is the period in the life of the organization which is most 

Role and Responsibility of the Library 185 

crucial. The goal is to round out the sphere and to get all parts of the 
organization readjusted and working smoothly together again. This can be 
done more quickly when leadership and staff are together at the genesis of 
the change. When they are together, stress is minimal, resistance to the 
change low, commitment high, and the program successful. The organiza- 
tional sphere adjusts, the bulge deflates and it is rolling smoothly once 
again. An organization, like a human body, has a way of either severing or 
incorporating an appendage. If the appendage (bulge) is seen as unneces- 
sary, it is rejected. Conversely, if the appendage is seen as helpful, it will be 
accepted and willingly incorporated. A comprehensive preservation pro- 
gram, if handled well, will be accepted by most staff and become not only a 
valuable, but essential, part of the operation of the library. 

Let's return to the topic of where to begin. Once a committee has been 
selected, the next task is to assess the conservation needs in some detail. 
Some outside help may be necessary at this stage unless the organization 
presently has a knowledgeable person in this area. This process is the 
critical one. This is the stage at which broad understanding and realization 
throughout the organization is necessary. The more people involved in 
identifying and agreeing upon the needs at the outset, the more coopera- 
tion will be realized at time of implementation. During the needs assess- 
ment time, the following will be evaluated: 

1. the physical plant in which the materials are stored, including lights, 
temperature, humidity, cleanliness, filtration systems, potential water 
leakage and fire hazards, and building security; 

2. the manner in which books are presently handled, including number 
packed on the shelf, how they are placed on the shelf, manner in which 
they are bound, style of book returns and drop boxes, manner in which 
books are handled during photocopying of pages, how books are 
transported, adequate shelf size for varying book sizes, manner in which 
materials are packed for shipping and mailing, and even what types of 
materials are best suited for circulating as against those which ought not 

3. the physical condition of the books presently on the library shelves, 
paying particular attention to dirt, brittleness, disrepair, evidence of 
fungal growth, insect or rodent damage, fading, etc. 

After the needs have been firmly established, priorities must be set. 
The needs assessment study will likely leave the staff feeling overwhelmed. 
The universe must now be broken into manageable units and then placed 
in order of approach. Unfortunately, items needing the most attention may 
not be affordable for some time. List them, however, and see that they begin 
to appear in future planning statements. I speak of items such as changing 

186 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

the environment in the building, securing the building, changing or 
modifying lighting systems, and conservation treatment of valuable books, 
maps, and manuscripts. Placing these items in planning statements will 
likely influence allocation of supporting funds from the parent institu- 
tion. It is important to express these needs in such a manner as to influence 
the parent institution to include these same items as institutional needs. 
Institutional needs are carefully reviewed by governing bodies such as 
boards of trustees. The ultimate goal is to have these needs reach legislative 
bodies which allocate funds. While seeking funding for long-term pro- 
grams, short-term goals can be accomplished. 

As priorities and order of approach begin to sort out, the framework 
for a conservation policy will evolve and procedures will begin to take 
shape. Both of these should be codified to be used to implement the 
program. Carolyn Morrow has created a "mock" policy statement 
"designed to provide logical guidelines and outline optimum conditions 
for the conservation of a research library collection." 4 


If a committee is used in the beginning stages for assessing needs, 
establishing priorities and drafting policy statements, at some point a 
determination must be made as to what the eventual organizational struc- 
ture for the conservation program will be. Size of budget, collection, and 
staff as well as complexity and degree of need are all factors important to 
this matter. 

Under some circumstances such as during dire financial times, a 
committee might be the appropriate long-term approach for operating a 
conservation program. The best approach, however, is to hire a trained 
conservation person and to provide staff support to carry out the program. 
Perhaps a combination of these two approaches might work. 

Regardless of the approach, some important factors should be consid- 
ered. The reporting relationship is critical. Ideally, the committee chair- 
person or the conservation librarian should be responsible to the 
individual in the organization who has stewardship over all the areas 
which will be touched by the conservation program. This is important for 
a number of reasons. 

1. Budget allocation should be administered to include the entire 
program. It would be unfortunate if more than one fiscal officer were 
involved since there is a potential for competition for money and an 
imbalance in the program. 

Role and Responsibility of the Library 187 

2. When conflicts arise, judgment must be exercised which reflects the 
entire program, not just a portion. 

3. It is usually preferable for policy to be enforced by the person overseeing 
the en are program. 

4. The higher up the administrative ladder the person responsible for the 
program is, the more clout that can be exerted. 

5. Staff perception of the value of the conservation program is always 
influenced by the level of administrative support. 

6. A unified conservation program will most likely develop when a single 
administrator is responsible for it. 

7. It eliminates the possibility of conservation being perceived by staff as a 
stepchild to other programs. 

The placement of the conservation program in the organization has 
another dimension: the functions it should incorporate. Some candidates 
for inclusion under the conservation umbrella include materials prepara- 
tion; in-house repair and maintenance, and protective encasement; prepa- 
ration of items for contract binding; stack maintenance (shelving, 
shelf-reading, cleaning, etc.); and perhaps a full-scale conservation treat- 
ment laboratory. Again, the specific needs of individual libraries will help 
answer this question. 

Another aspect of administrative structure is whether the conservation 
librarian should be in a staff or line position. Acting in a staff relationship 
to an administrator provides mobility about the organization but does not 
allow authority to be exercised by the conservation librarian. Lack of clout 
can slow progress. In this configuration, the administrator would, of 
necessity, need to be more directly involved in conservation matters. I 
believe it preferable to place the conservation person in a line position so 
that authority and responsibility can be fixed. The position also ought to 
be at a high enough level so the person can comfortably interact and carry 
weight with others also holding responsible positions. Darling and Ogden 
point out that actual organizational patterns varied considerably among 
some of the libraries which were pioneers in establishing preservation 
programs, and in every case but one, "the person charged with responsibil- 
ity for the program was placed in a line rather than staff position and given 
specific authority to develop and implement programs." 5 


With the needs assessment completed, priorities established and ad- 
ministrative structure determined, it is time to forge ahead, to lay plans for 

188 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

implementation. It is hardly necessary to remind ourselves how important 
it is to plan any program carefully. Conservation is no exception. It is vital 
to involve all people in the early stages of planning whose areas of respon- 
sibility are going to be affected by the conservation program. Change will 
be more readily accepted and more strongly supported if these individuals 
have an opportunity to influence the program at the outset. 

Planning will involve several facets. The literature contains some 
helpful suggestions on ways to approach planning. Darling states it 

The concrete steps to be taken to turn priorities from paper plans into 
concrete programs should be set forth in specific terms, with realistic 
target dates. This may involve further analysis of existing resources 
(staff, space, equipment, and money), and should lead directly into the 
organizational modifications that will, usually, be the first step of plan 


In terms of financial support, as far as I can tell, Patterson's observa- 
tion in 1979 still stands: "Conservation is so new a subject of national 
concern that no one has addressed in the literature the question of funding 
sources. Each library must simply strive to identify agencies, organiza- 
tions, and individuals potentially offering support." Start-up funds pro- 
vided by granting agencies are helpful but in the final analysis, those 
institutions which provide their own funds will be the most successful. 

By and large, those libraries which have forged ahead have done so out 
of dogged determination and have made inroads into this massive prob- 
lem. They have ususally reallocated funds in addition to the normal 
binding budget to begin in a small way to make an impact on the begin- 
nings of a more comprehensive conservation program. 

The size of a library's commitment to conservation can best be mea- 
sured by the percentage of its budget allocated to conservation. How much 
is enough for an adequate conservation program? I am told that Newberry 
spends 10 percent of its total budget on conservation. At a recent confer- 
ence, it was reported that Jim Haas asked, "Why doesn't every research 
library take ten percent of its money for new acquisitions and put it into 
preservation?" 8 At the same meeting Rudy Rogers reported that Yale puts 
"$800,000 a year into conservation as against a $3,000,000 acquisitions 
expenditure." This represents 26.6 percent of the acquisition budget. 
SIUC put 12.6 percent of its acquisitions budget into the conservation 
program last year. At the University of Utah where Paul Foulger is the 

Role and Responsibility of the Library 189 

conservation officer, 10 percent of the library's acquisitions budget is 
committed to this effort. 

Deciding how much of the budget should go into conservation is 
difficult. But the decision must be made. Ironically, the decision to support 
binding of library materials was made years ago. Today it is a given. 
Binding costs are considered an integral part of a library's acquisitions 
budget. Somehow, we have to broaden our thinking. The responsibility of 
the library is to decide where conservation fits in its program and service 
priorities, then to support it with dollars and administrative clout. 
Frankly, I am not prepared to recommend a percentage-of -budget figure 
dial a library should put toward conservation; however, I would recom- 
mend that this would be an appropriate topic for discussion in individual 
libraries and also at the state and national levels within ALA's Preservation 
of Library Materials Section, Association of Research Libraries, and other 
forums. Perhaps the Northeast Document Conservation Center or the 
Western States Conservation Congress have considered this and could 
share their thinking about it. 

We have a responsibility to provide funding to support conservation 
beyond the library binding level. The following are positive steps which 
can be taken by library administrators to help the situation: 

1. Encourage and participate in preparing proposals to outside funding 
agencies for assistance. 

2. Work with other library administrators in the state and region to raise 
the awareness of conservation needs on the part of legislators. 

3. Seek special funding from the administrative person(s) to whom the 
library administrator reports, e.g., the vice-president for academic 

4. Reallocate funds internally to support the program. One idea is to 
watch student wage expenditures during the year and shift unused 
wages to specific preplanned conservation or preservation projects. 
End-of-year wage money could be used in any number of ways, e.g., 
leather book treatment, encapsulation, etc. 

5. Change existing policies, procedures, and staffing to allow for imme- 
diate implementation of low-cost procedures. 

6. Identify environmental and building matters which need modification 
and bring these to the attention of those on campus who have responsi- 
bility for these concerns. 

Most of these steps require time; however, something can be done on each 
almost immediately. If a start on each of these steps was accomplished 
today, a decided difference would be recognized a year from now, consider- 
able change would be evident three years away, and great strides would be 

190 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

made in five years. I firmly believe that there are very few institutions 
which couldn't find the money to begin a conservation program. With a 
firm commitment and resolve to begin a program, it can be done over time. 

The two conservation programs of which I am most aware, those of 
University of Utah (UU) and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 
had different beginnings. At Utah, Kem Newby, a biology professor emeri- 
tus who worked as a volunteer in the library for several years, can be given 
partial credit for the conservation program currently underway. Part of 
this professor's voluntary work was done in the special collections area 
where he helped protect and treat rare or brittle manuscripts. The impor- 
tance of this professor's self-initiated work came to the attention of the 
library administration. Seeds for a comprehensive conservation program 
had thus been planted. After plans had been laid to launch an expanded 
conservation program, the administration reallocated internal positions 
and funding. The money from an appropriate vacant position was used to 
hire Paul Foulger as conservator and support costs were gathered over a 
period of time from other areas by consolidating procedures, reducing or 
eliminating some services, and by maintaining flat budgets in some lines 
in order to use small budget increases for conservation. As the emerging 
conservation program took shape, the University of Utah became aware of 
die availability of the equipment which had been a part of the conservation 
laboratory of Colton and Nancy Storm, formerly of the Newberry Library. 
Further reallocation of funds made it possible for the Marriott Library at 
UU to acquire die equipment. 

At SIUC, an idea conceived by the Special Collections Librarian of an 
expanded conservation program generated a National Endowment for the 
Humanities (NEH) challenge grant. This paid off by realizing funds from 
four sources. These combined dollars were used to hire Carolyn Clark 
Morrow, create a modest laboratory, and treat the John Dewey Papers. 
Three years later the program was shifted to state funds by receiving a base 
budget increase to pay the conservator's salary, and some internal realloca- 
tion of funds to support the rest of the operation. Some CETA positions 
were also successfully sought and became part of the program for about a 

These two approaches were considerably different but both were 
workable and certainly successful. Both started about the same time, both 
have had some funding challenge over the years and both had their genesis 
in special collections departments. Both programs are strong and will 
continue. They have proven their worth. Both programs deserve more 
financial backing because there is so much to do. But, again, other pro- 
grams must also be supported. 

Role and Responsibility of the Library 191 


The control of the library environment is the responsibility of the 
library administration and is the single, most important aspect of mate- 
rials' preservation. If a library could be designed to address the environ- 
mental needs of library collections it might contain at the minimum the 
following facilities and features. 

The building materials used and the construction would be as earth- 
quake and fire resistant as possible. 

It would be built on ground which would not be easily flooded or would 
be designed so that collections would not be endangered by heavy rains, 
flash floods, etc. 

The roof would be pitched and designed to insure against pooling of 

The insulation would be of such quality that temperature and humidity 
could be maintained at consistent levels and at levels conducive to storing 
the type of materials housed in the library. 

The heating, cooling and humidity controls would allow for differences 
to be established in various parts of the building, thus tailoring the air for 
the requirements of special materials. 

Filtering systems would be installed to eliminate, as far as possible, such 
gases as sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and just 
plain dirt and dust. 

Building systems, including water pipes, would be located well away 
from stack areas and would not be on the roof directly above library storage 

The building would be constructed in such a way to insure against 
encroachment by rodents and insects. If rooms are to be used for eating or 
food preparation, they would be far removed from areas where collections 
were to be housed. 

Windows would be screened to filter out ultraviolet rays in sunlight. 
Lights installed would be incandescent or, if fluorescent, would be 
screened to filter out ultraviolet energy. 

Fire extinguishing systems would operate specific to the area of the fire. 
Stacks installed would be of heavy construction and would accommo- 
date shelves of sufficient size to hold adquately different-sized books with- 
out their hanging over the edge. Shelves would be tied together by braces 
across the top to reduce the possibility of tipping and would not contain 
rough or sharp edges or surfaces which could cut or snag books. 
Book return systems would be designed to lessen the distance that books 
must drop, reduce the amount of rough jamming together, and mitigate 
deep stacking of books. 

An adequate fire and burglar alarm system would be installed as an early 
warning system. 

192 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 


I would like to close by emphasizing an important element of the 
library conservation program which was touched on earlier by Mr. Patter- 
son and others but which warrants repeating: preservation through collec- 
tion development. 

A significant part of a library budget (second only to salaries and 
wages) is allocated for the acquisition of materials for the collection. These 
large sums of money are being expended for books and other materials 
which, if they are not subjected to some form of disaster during their 
lifetime, are destined to deteriorate in a relatively few years. We enhance 
our collections by the addition of appropriate information which is 
wrapped in different packages or is carried on different vehicles. We can 
often acquire the intellectual content at different prices based upon the 
information carrier. (Parenthetically, I recognize that we do acquire some 
information because of the package in which it is wrapped.) Of prime 
importance when considering the acquisition of material is user conve- 
nience. Quick access to the information is an important consideration 
which relates directly to the format in which the information is packaged. I 
believe that we should add another dimension to our acquisitions consid- 
eration. This dimension is longevity. This is not to suggest that we should 
acquire everything on acid-free paper or on silver halide microform. It is to 
suggest, however, that we project our thinking to include the dimension of 
access in 100 or more years from the time of acquisition. When this 
dimension is added to the acquisition decision process, a more usable 
collection will result. 

Some factors to be considered, once it has been determined that the 
information should be acquired for the collection, are: 

1. whether the information is printed on acid-free paper; 

2. whether it is in a hard- or soft-bound cover; 

3. if it is in paperback, whether it ought to be bound before it is put into the 
hands of the user; 

4. if is to be bound, whether it should be bound in-house using less 
expensive materials or be sent to a library bindery; 

5. whether or not it is available in a format other than paper, such as 
microform (if it available in microform, whether it would be more 
desirable to acquire in that format); 

6. if microform is selected, whether it is of a type, such as silver halide, for 
which longevity standards exist (it is important to remember, however, 
that film is only archival if it is processed and stored in archival 

Role and Responsibility of the Library 193 

7. whether or not the item will circulate, be used in the library, or be used 
only under supervision; 

8. the condition of retrospective materials. If possible, it should be 
determined before purchase whether the material contains mold or 
insects, or whether it is in disrepair. 

Considering these matters before acquisition can realize long-term benefits 
in both user convenience and dollar savings. 

Ongoing development of a library collection includes adding, with- 
drawing, relocating, reformatting, and replacing materials. Among die 
materials added to the collection are periodicals. Most of these arrive in 
paper cover format. These single issues are generally placed on the shelves 
for public use and at the end of the year are gathered and bound together to 
form a new physical volume to add to the continuing run. Based on the 
collection development policy and user needs, careful consideration 
should be given to whether retrospective volumes of some of the titles 
would be more suitable in microfilm or microfiche. There are several 
advantages to receiving the current issues in paper and the annual output 
in microform, not the least of which are: ( 1 ) space savings; (2) elimination 
of the need to seek replacement copies before being bound; (3) elimination 
of the need to retrieve, sort, process and package for binding; (4) the ability 
to use some of the money earmarked for binding for the purchase of 
microform periodicals; and (5) being able to keep the film longer than the 
paper if it is maintained properly. 

When an item is determined to be in a condition where it is physically 
no longer usable, the following options are open: withdraw it from the 
collection and discard it; replace it with the exact edition, a reprint edition, 
or a book with similar content; replace it by reformatting, e.g., microform; 
or place it where it can't be used except on rare occasions. 

Factors such as those mentioned above are generally not considered 
part of the collection development program of a library. Under a compre- 
hensive preservation program, however, they are an important part of 
collection development. Administrators should take steps to educate staff 
responsible for strengthening library collections to make preservation 
through collection development an integral part of the overall collection 
development program. 


Now that we know where to begin, what the administrative structure 
should be, how to support financially the beginnings of a preservation 
program, and what constitutes the components of a comprehensive preser- 

194 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

vation program, let's go back to our libraries and either start or improve the 


1. Belanger, Terry. "The Price of Preservation." Times Literary Supplement 3947 (18 
Nov. 1977):1358-59. 

2. Patterson, Robert H. "Organizing for Conservation." Library Journal 104(15 May 
1979):! 116. 

3. Ibid., p. 1117. 

4. Morrow, Carolyn C. A Conservation Policy Statement for Research Libraries 
(Occasional Papers No. 139). Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Graduate School of 
Library Science, 1979, p. 2. 

5. Darling, Pamela W., and Ogden, Sherelyn. "From Problems Perceived to Programs 
in Practice: The Preservation of Library Resources in the U.S.A., 1956- 1980." Library Resour- 
ces & Technical Services 25(Jan./March 1981):9-29. 

6. Darling, Pamela W. "A Local Preservation Program: Where to Start." Library 
Journal 101(15 Nov. 1976):2347. 

7. Patterson, "Organizing," p. 1119. 

8. LJ/SLJ Hotline 10(26 Oct. 1981 ):3. 

9. Ibid., p. 3. 


Richard H. Kaige (Illinois State Library, Normal): Do you have a person 
on your staff who does retrospective bibliography? 

Dale Cluff: I see that encompassed under our present program in the brittle 
books program (e.g., looking at the disrepair of volumes on the shelf). 
There is a systematic program of going to the shelf by those individuals in 
conservation to identify the brittle books. That was the area that I talked 
about in the presentation which is causing us a little anxiety. Once that is 
done, then, the subject librarian or the subject bibliographer is asked 
whedier it is important to retain that item in the collection. If so, then the 
conservation staff determines in which way it would be best to replace it. 
Andrew L. Makuch (University of Arizona Library, Tucson): Are there 
separate funds for the replacement of books administered by the preserva- 
tion people? Do you know of any situation where funds are in existence for 

Cluff: Yes. But it's not at our institution and that is one of the areas, I think, 
we could look at. Let's see, who of those here widi conservation programs 
have a separate budget for die replacement of books? One that institution 
is Texas A8cM. 

Role and Responsibility of the Library 195 

Gerald Lundeen (Graduate School of Library Science, University of 
Hawaii, Honolulu): I'd like to add one additional task to the list that you 
gave us for the preservation officer that is, education of staff and, per- 
haps, patrons. Along that line I have to say I am somewhat sympathetic to 
the subject experts if they are not provided with some guidance in making 
the decisions about the proper way to go with brittle books. 

Cluff: I appreciate that that's a good comment. 

Karen L. Sampson (University of Nebraska at Omaha): How did your 
commitment to preservation as a library administrator develop, and what 
suggestions do you have for us to develop awareness and commitment in 

Cluff: I really can't point to a particular day or time or article or person 
which developed my thinking or developed the level of commitment that I 
have. I suppose that it was just a gradual working in various aspects of the 
overall library which caused that. Certainly meeting people and associat- 
ing with others like people attending this conference also contributed. A 
lot of the credit goes to Carolyn Morrow, Paul Foulger, and other conserva- 
tors who share the same commitment. 

As to how to convince or help influence library administrators, I feel 
strongly that in those areas where library staff know the most about 
preservation e.g., serials, binding, local mending and repair persons, 
persons who work with special collections, rare books, manuscripts and 
archives these persons will be pounding on the desk of the administrator 
in a kind and tactful way for the cause of preservation. I think that any 
open administrator, trying to do a job for the overall good of the organiza- 
tional operation of the library, will eventually become tuned in. In our 
own library, I ask for a planning statement from every area. Every year, 
these planning statements should have an area built into them asking for 
comments and rationale for a comprehensive preservation program. 

Carolyn Clark Morrow (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale): I'd 
like to add two things to what Dale said, and that is, first, tell the adminis- 
trator it's really going to save money in the long run, and, next, you say that 
everybody else is doing it. If we don't do it, we're going to look bad. 

Gerald Gibson (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.): How many 
libraries which have conservation programsare involved, in any way, with 
actively conserving newspaper materials? (Editors' note: There was a show 
of hands from librarians from six such libraries.) Second question, you 
spoke of budget in general. Is there any active thought at all in applying a 
portion of this budget to nonpaper conservation? Do you have any 
thoughts on that? 

196 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Cluff: If you are asking about our specific institution, we hope that our 
overall conservation program includes those materials. One of the prob- 
lems that we have at Southern Dlinois University at Carbondale is the level 
at which the conservation program reports. Conservation reports to me 
through the head of the serials department. However, that excludes a large 
portion of the overall organization, the Learning Resources Services on 
campus, which is housed in the same building as the library. Learning 
Resources Services does not report to me but to the Dean of Library Affairs. 
Recognizing that there is a need for conserving nonpaper materials, 
the conservation individuals are aware of and sympathetic to these needs 
and as we meet in administrative council, they discuss those needs at that 
level. Here is the very thing that I brought up in my paper the need for the 
conservation individuals reporting to the highest level in the overall 
program. My budget is not used in the Learning Resources Services area. 
However, we do have a lot of nonprint materials in Library Services. If we 
are talking about the overall environment which is monitored constantly 
by our conservation people and if we are talking about using nonprint 
materials for the replacement of brittle books, yes, we a re allocating budget 
as part of the conservation budget to nonpaper preservation. 

Gibson: Do you really consider that simply the accident of application of a 
portion of your budget to preservation of nonpaper materials, because they 
happen to be in the same building where you are keeping a basic tempera- 
ture and humidity level, is an adequate justification of preservation of 
nonpaper any more than it is an adequate justification of preservation of 
paper materials? 

Cluff: Let me indicate from my past experience and education that I 
consider myself a print and nonprint individual. I understand what you 
are saying; however, we are not sorting out paper and nonpaper. We are 
hoping to involve the whole program. 

Morrow: We don't make that distinction in the Morris Library of SIUC. 
We have nonprint materials in Library Services, and I would remind Dale 
[Cluff] that we've spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on better protec- 
tive encasement for our phonograph records, for example. That was not 
questioned. We had a whole procedure for improving the storage of those 
materials and I don't think that anyone considered the bias 
print/nonprint the phonograph records were just part of the collection. 

Cluff: When, about a year ago, the request for additional funds for supplies 
to support that program came across my desk, I did not weigh it as to 
whether it was paper/nonpaper. I approved it. 


WILLIAM ANTHONY of Anthony & Associates, Bookbinders, Inc. is a 
native of Ireland where he served a bookbinding apprenticeship from 1942 
to 1949. From 1950 to 1962, he was a journeyman in London, England. In 
1961, he was a teacher of bookbinding at the Camberwell School of Art in 
London and became a member of the Guild of Contemporary Bookbinders 
in that same year. He came to the Fine Binding Studio of Cuneo Press in 
1964 serving there until 1971 when he established a partnership with 
Elizabeth Kner in a Chicago conservation studio. 

E. DALE CLUFF is Director of Libraries, Texas Tech University, Lub- 
bock. He was former Director of Library Services at Southern Illinois 
University at Carbondale. He has held positions in administration, refer- 
ence, acquisitions, and media at the University of Utah Library. He has 
served on numerous committees at the state and national level dealing with 
microforms, standards and budget and has authored articles and delivered 
papers in these areas. He has been a member of and held offices in the ALA 
RTSD Reproduction of Library Materials Section and presently he is a 
consultant to University Microfilms International. 

PAMELA W. DARLING is Special Consultant to the National Preserva- 
tion Program at the Library of Congress, and Lecturer in the Columbia 
University School of Library Service. As Preservation Specialist at the 
Office of Management Studies of the Association of Research Libraries 
from 1980-82, she prepared technical and managerial tools for libraries 
seeking to expand their preservation programs. She served as the Head of 
the Preservation Department, Columbia University Libraries (1974-1980), 
Head of the Preservation Programs Office, Conservation Division, New 
York Public Library (1973-74) and as Executive Assistant, Processing 
Department, Library of Congress (1972). She is active in professional 
organizations, including the American Library Association and the 
National Conservation Advisory Council. She has authored many articles 
on the preservation of library materials and is a frequent speaker on the 

GERALD D. GIBSON is Head of the Curatorial Section of the Motion 
Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of 
Congress. He is responsible for the housing of 150,000 motion pictures, 1.3 
million sound recordings and 50,000 video tapes thereby becoming 
involved in many aspects of the Library's preservation activities. This 
collection includes every kind of recording from wax cylinders to quadro- 
phonic discs and audiovisual media from nitrate film to video disc. Prior to 
coming to this position in 1978, Mr. Gibson held other positions in music 


198 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

librarianship at the Library of Congress and at the Eastman School of 
Music. He has held numerous offices and been a member of many commit- 
tees including serving currently as the chairperson of the Association for 
Recorded Sound Collections' Associated Audio Archives, Working Group 
for a Union Catalog of Sound Recordings; and as a member of the Ameri- 
can National Standards Committee Z-39, Subcommittee K (Standards for 
Indexing) and of the International Copyright Commission, International 
Association of Sound Archives. He has become well known for his bibliog- 
raphies of discography. 

CAROLYN HARRIS is Head of the Preservation Department at Colum- 
bia University. She has been a manuscript cataloger, Humanities Research 
Center, University of Texas at Austin, where her responsibilities also 
included developing and coordinating the preservation program. In 1981, 
she assumed her present position where she is responsible for a microform 
production facility and its bibliographic support unit, an in-house bind- 
ery and repair laboratory, and other system-wide preservation activities. 
She was one of the twelve participants in the Institute on the Development 
and Administration of Programs for the Preservation of Library Materials. 
She is the author of "Mass Deacidification" in the Library Journal preser- 
vation series and is active in ALA, RTSD's PLMS. 

KATHRYN LUTHER HENDERSON is Associate Professor of Library 
and Information Science, Graduate School of Library and Information 
Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she teaches 
courses related to cataloging and classification, bibliographic organiza- 
tion and control, and technical services. Preservation and conservation 
concerns are a part of the technical services seminar. She was the editor of 
the proceedings of two previous Allerton Park Institutes: Trends in Ameri- 
can Publishing and Major Classification Systems: the Dewey Centennial. 
In addition, her paper on serials cataloging is a part of the proceedings of 
the Allerton Institute on Serials Publications in Large Libraries. She 
edited MARC Uses and Users in the School's Clinic on Library Applica- 
tions of Data Processing series and has authored works on the history of 
descriptive cataloging. 

WILLIAM T HENDERSON is Binding and Preservation Librarian and 
Associate Professor of Library Administration at the University of Illinois 
at Urbana-Champaign. For over fifteen years he has worked on a system- 
wide basis with the binding and preservation aspects of a large university 
library. He has been instrumental in developing a local in-house mending 
and repair section into a conservation facility. He serves as chairperson of 
the Library's Preservation Committee. He was a consultant for the plan- 
ning of the 1980 Conservation Workshop of the Illinois Association of 

Contributors 199 

College and Research Libraries and shared in the leadership of the sessions 
devoted to Practical Library Conservation Techniques. No stranger to 
Allerton Park Institutes, he previously presented a paper on "Serials 
Binding A Librarian's View" at the 1969 conference on Serials Publica- 
tions in Large Libraries. 

LEEDOM KETTELL is president and chief operating officer at Gaylord 
Bros., Inc. In January 1981, he was appointed to his present position with 
Gaylord Bros., Inc. a firm founded some eighty-five years ago which has 
concentrated on serving the domestic and international market for library 
supplies, furniture and systems. In the past five years, the firm has 
expanded its line of products designed for the preservation of library 
materials. Before coming to this position, he served in sales, marketing, 
administration and planning functions for Xerox Corporation, University 
Microfilms International, Brodart, and Gaylord. He has lectured at the 
Institute for Graphic Communications and has participated in the activi- 
ties of the American Library Association, the National Microfilm Associa- 
tion, and the Information Industry Association. Recently, he has been 
invited to serve on the Visitor's Council for Syracuse University's School of 
Information Studies. 

D.W. KRUMMEL is a Professor at the Graduate School of Library and 
Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 
For over a decade, he has taught courses related to bibliography, library 
history and research libraries resources. Prior to his coming to the Univer- 
sity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he was Associate Librarian of the 
Newberry Library in Chicago where he was involved in the development 
and administration of its conservation program. He is the author of several 
studies in historical and music bibliography and in library history. 

LOUISE KUFLIK is owner of her own binding studio Sky Meadow 
Bindery in Suffern, New York. She brings the perspective of both a 
librarian and a conservator to the decision making processes of conserva- 
tion and preservation. After serving as Reference Librarian with the Young 
8c Rubicam advertising agency in New York and studying bookbinding 
with Deborah Evetts, she began as an apprentice in book and document 
binding and restoration with Carolyn Horton & Associates where she was 
actively engaged in conservation and preservation activities as well as 
supervising the work of other employees in these activities. 

GERALD LUNDEEN is Associate Professor of the Graduate School of 
Library Science, University of Hawaii. His background includes a Doctor- 
ate of Philosophy from the University of Minnesota in the areas of physical 
and organic chemistry. He has developed a course at the University of 
Hawaii related to the conservation of library materials. He has authored 

200 Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

numerous publications relating to chemistry and to information storage 
and retrieval and served as the editor of the fall 1 98 1 issue of Library Trends 
on the "Conservation of Library Materials." 

CAROLYN CLARK MORROW is Conservation Librarian at Southern 
Illinois University at Carbondale. Since 1978 she has been involved in 
numerous workshops, presentations and lectures on library and archival 
conservation. In 1980, she conducted a Needs Assessment Survey for the 
Illinois Cooperative Conservation Program and has been active in promot- 
ing cooperative conservation. Her publications include A Conservation 
Bibliography for Librarians, Archivists and Administrators (Whitson, 
1979); A Conservation Policy Statement for Research Libraries (University 
of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science Occasional Papers No. 139, 
1979); Conservation Treatment Procedures (Libraries Unlimited, 1982); 
and The Preservation Challenge (Knowledge Industry Publications, 1982). 

JAMES ORR is president of Hertzberg-New Method, Inc. He has been 
engaged in many aspects of the library binding business for over thirty-five 
years, starting his early training in binding craftsmanship and preserva- 
tion, in the Monastery Hill Bindery (Chicago), a family business founded 
by his grandfather. Later he managed the Northwestern Bindery in Evan- 
ston, Illinois, and in 1954, assumed the sales and manufacturing duties in 
the newly formed Hertzberg-New Method bindery in Jacksonville, Illinois. 
Upon the death of Lawrence Hertzberg in April 1970, Mr. Orr was elected 
president of Hertzberg-New Method, Inc., a position he holds today. The 
bindery is one of the largest binderies in the United States and has pio- 
neered some of the newest technology and methodology in binding 

ROBERT H. PATTERSON is Director of Libraries, McFarlin Library at 
the University of Tulsa. He brings to this topic the perspective of a 
librarian who has worked in the administrative, collection development, 
special collection and organizational areas of librarianship in several 
different libraries. He was a participant in the Columbia University, 
Graduate School of Library Service, Institute on the Development and 
Administration of Programs for the Preservation of Library Materials. He 
attended the 1980 Cambridge (England) Preservation Conference. While 
Director of Libraries, University of Wyoming, he served as the Leader of 
the Wyoming Disaster Recovery Assistance Team. Currently he serves as 
the editor and publisher of the Conservation Administration News (CAN) 
and as a member of the American Library Association (ALA) Resources 
and Technical Services Division (RTSD), Preservation of Library Mate- 
rials Section (PLMS). 

Contributors 201 

ANITA WERLING is Manager of Collection Development of University 
Microfilms International. She was an Assistant Reference Librarian at 
Fairleigh Dickinson University before coming to University Microfilms 
International in 1972. Prior to assuming her present position at University 
Microfilms, she served first as Supervisor of Books and Series and later as 
Manager of Photographic and Editorial Operations. She is active in ALA 
organizations relating to reprography resources. 


Accident preparedness, and self-study, 

Adams, Randolph, 166, 167 

Adhesive binding. See Binding, 

Administrative structure, of conserva- 
tion program, 186-87 

AIC. See American Institute for Con- 

ALA. See American Library Associa- 

Alkaline paper making, 80-83 

Alum, as source of acid in book paper, 

Alum-rosin size, 58, 74 

American Institute for Conservation, 

American Library Association, Preser- 
vation of Library Materials Section, 
3, 41, 47 

American National Standards Institute, 

Anthony, William, 5-6 

ARL Preservation Planning Project. 
See Preservation Planning Project 

Arney, Jonathan, 59 

Audio materials, characteristics of, 94- 

Backup copies, for magnetic tapes, 102 

Bailyn, Bernard, 174 

Banks, Paul, 38, 174 

Barrow morpholine process, 3, 60-63 

Barrow Research Laboratory, 37, 60 

Basic Archival Conservation Program, 

2, 24 

Battelle Columbus Laboratories, 78 
Belanger, Terry, 182 
Bibliographers, and conservation, 169 
Bibliographic control, 32-33, 157 
Binding: 119, 123, 137-40, 147; adhesive, 

148, 161 

Blackstone, William, 167 
Blades, William, 166 
Bleaching, 58, 83 
Book cloth, synthetic, 162 
Book Preservation Center (N.Y.), 3, 45, 


Boorstin, Daniel, 112-13 

Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, 39 

Boxing, of conserved item, 140 

Brittle paper, 149 

Buckram, 162 

Budget allocation, for conservation 

program, 15, 186 
Buffering agents, and deacidification, 


Calcium hydroxide, 150 

CAP. See Collection Analysis Project 

CAV. See Constant Angular Velocity 

Cellulose, 73, 74, 76-77 

Cellulose acetate lamination, 60 

Cellulose nitrate based film, and fire, 

Chemiluminescence studies, 78 

Circulating collections, 173 

Climate control systems, 30-31. See also 
Environmental control 

Cluff, E. Dale, 6 

CLV. See Constant Linear Velocity 

Collection Analysis Project, 2, 20 

Collection development, and preserva- 
tion, 12, 192-93 

Colorado Statewide Plan for Preserva- 
tion, 3, 46-47 

Columbia University: conservator 
training, 26, 43; establishment of 
preservation department, 39 

Committee on Production Guidelines 
for Book Longevity, 30 

Conservation: as alternate career for 
librarian, 141-42; v. preservation, 160 

Conservation Administration News, 41 

Conservation Advisory Committee 
(Kentucky), 47 

Conservation Center for Art and His- 
toric Artifacts (Philadelphia), 48 

Conservation of Cultural Property in 
the United States, 39-40 

Conservation studio, decisions made in, 

Conservators, training of, 11, 26, 43 

Constant Angular Velocity, 93, 105 

Constant Linear Velocity, 93 

Consultants, 50 



Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Control: of preservation problem, 29- 

30; of environment. See Environmen- 
tal control 
Cooperation, and preservation, 13, 45- 

Cooperative services: consultation 

and surveying, 50; coordination, 51; 

cost sharing, 50; information, 49-50; 

treatment, 51-53 
Coordination, of present programs, 

33-34, 51 

Cost estimate, of conservation, 136 
Cost implications, of conservation, 12- 


Cost sharing, of conservation, 50 
Cradle camera, 162 
Crosslinking, 80 
Crystallinity, changes in, and paper 

degradation, 78-79 
Cunha, George, 12, 44, 47 
Cyclohexylomine, 60 
Cyclohexylomine carbonate, 60 
Cylinders, as form of sound recording, 


Darling, Pamela, 2, 44, 68, 188 
Deacidification, 3, 57-69, 115-16, 137 
Deterioration, natural, as factor in 

preservation problem, 27 
DEZ. See Diethyl zinc 
Dichlorodifluoro-methane, 63 
Deithyl zinc, 3, 65-68 
Disaster control, 14, 124 
Disc recordings, and groove wear, 103 
Discussion Paper on a National Insti- 
tute for Conservation of Cultural 
Property, 41-42 
Dowicide, 126 

East Asian materials, preservation of, 35 
Electrostatic copying, 121 
"Endangered titles list," 174-75 
Environmental control, 14, 27-29, 30, 

191. See also Climate control 
Epistemological problem, of preserva- 
tion, 112, 113, 114-20 
Equipment, for preservation work, 

Film audio materials, characteristics of, 

Financial support, for conservation 

programs, 188-90 

Florence Flood, 2-3, 38, 166 
Foxing, 138 

General Electric, and Space Chamber, 


Gibson, Gerald D., 4 
Goldsmith, Robert, 61 
Grant money, and preservation, 16 
Gwinn, Nancy, 60 

Haas, Warren, 37, 40 
Handbinder, 148-52 
Handling, of materials, 29, 166, 171-72 
Harris, Carolyn, 3 

Heat, and nonpaper materials, 96-98 
Heatset tissue, 144 
Henderson, William T, 4-5 
Hot melt, 161 

HVAC. See Climate Control System 
Hydrolysis, and paper degradation, 76- 

ICCP. See Illinois Cooperative Conser- 
vation Program 


Illinois Cooperative Conservation Pro- 
gram, 3, 47 

Information needs, for conservation 
programs, 49-50 

Information technologies, and preser- 
vation possibilities, 31-32 

Ink, 132 

Intellectual content, preservation of, 

Japanese paper, 150 

Kelly, George, 59, 65 

Kentucky, Conservation Advisory 

Committee, 47 
Kepler, Johannes, 165 
Kettell, Leedom, 5 
Kodak, and film tests, 99-100 
Krummel, D.W., 6 
Kuflik, Louise, 5 

Labels, paper, on sound discs, 103 

Land, Robert, 166 

Langwell VPD, 59-60 

LaserVision, 93 

LAST (coating for sound discs), 103 

Liability, limit of, 136 

Librarianship, philosophy of, 166 



Library of Congress: cellulose nitrate 
film in, 97-98; preservation program, 
40-41; Preservation Office, 38 

Library education, and preservation, 

Library use, 167-68 

Library user studies, 170 

Light, and paper degradation, 79-80 

Lignin, 58, 74-75 

Limit of Liability. See Liability, limit 

Lundeen, Gerald, W., 3-4 

Madan, Falconer, 175 
Magnesium bicarbonate, 150 
Magnesium carbonate, 63 
Magnetic tape, recommended storage 

for, 100-01 

Magnetic tape audio recordings, 95-96 
Manuscripts, 156-57 
Medium, transformation of, 168 
Methanol, 63 

Methyl magnesium carbonate, 63 
Methylcellulose, 150 
Microfiche, 121-22. See also Microforms 
Microfilm, 61, 98. See also Microforms 
Microform masters, 42, 54, 55, 121 
Microforms, 92, 119, 121, 193. See also 

Microfiche; Microfilm; Microform 


Micropublishers, 155-59 
Midwest Regional Study for Materials 

Conservation, 46 
Mildew, 5, 125-26 
Mineral oil, and diethyl zinc, 67 
Morpholine, 60-63, 68 
Morrow, Carolyn Clark, 2-3 
Motion picture films, 100 
Mylar encapsulation, 143, 152 

National Conservation Advisory 
Council, 3, 39, 41, 42 

National Institute for Conservation, 42, 

National level preservation planning, 
3, 40, 52-53 

National Library of Canada, 64 

National Preservation Planning Con- 
ference, 3, 40 

National Preservation Program, 40-41, 

National Register of Microform Mas- 
ters, 176-77 

NCAC. See National Conservation 
Advisory Council 

NEDCC. See Northeast Document 
Conservation Center 

"Need to know," 175 

Needs assessment, for conservation 
program, 185 

Newberry Library Conservation Labo- 
ratory, 38 

Newspapers, 155 

New York Public Library, 38-39, 42 

New York University Conservation 
Program, 26 

NIC. See National Institute for Conser- 

Nitrosomorpholine, 62 

Nonpaper materials, 4, 89-91, 104-09, 
119, 195-96 

Northeast Document Conservation 
Center, 3, 44, 48, 51-52 

Ogden, Sherelyn, 68 

Organizational factors, affecting phys- 
ical condition of materials, 22 

Organizations, changes in, due to con- 
servation programs, 184-85 

Orr, James, 5 

Orthophenylphenol, 5, 125-30 

Oversewing, 147-48, 160-61 

Oxidation, and paper degradation, 77, 

Paper: accelerated aging of, 76; brittle, 
149; degradation of, 75-80; flexible, 
149; history of, 3-4, 74-75; mending 
of, 137; permanent, 81-82; preserva- 
tion of, 123; strength of, 4; washing 
of, 137-38 

Patterson, Robert H., 2, 183, 188 

Perfect binding. See Binding, Adhesive 

Periodicals, 174 

Permanent research value, 174 

Personnel, and preservation, 117 

Photochemical deterioration, of 
paper, 79-80 

Photocopies, 121, 170, 172 

Photogard, 98-99 

Physical examination, of item to be 
conserved, steps in, 136-37 

PIRA test, 146 

Planning, for conservation programs, 

Polyester encapsulation, 139 


Conserving and Preserving Library Materials 

Polyester film, 149-50 

Polypropolene, 5, 153-55 

Polyvinyl acetate, 150 

Poole, Frazer, 40 

Postbinding, 139-40 

Prazensbibliothek, 173 

Preservation: basic questions of, 182- 
83; and collection development, 12; 
v. conservation, 160; and coopera- 
tion, 13; and cost implications, 12- 
13; developing attitude toward, 23; 
dissemination of information about, 
19; and influence of technology, 12; 
as a library-wide concern, 10; 
methods of, 116-17; as responsibility 
of librarian, 1 1; of specific materials, 

Preservation Education Directory, 25 

Preservation Planning Program (Uni- 
versity of Washington), 31 

Preservation Planning Project, 20, 47 

Preservation plans, 14, 29-30 

Preservation programs, and need for 
local development, 2 

Preventive measures, 122 

Public Archives of Canada, 64 

PVA. See Polyvinyl acetate 

Rarity, 173-74 

RCA Selectavision, 93 

Readers, restrictions of, 173-76 

Rebacking, 151 

Reducing agents, and paper degrada- 
tion, 78 

Reference libraries, 173 

Regional treatment centers, 47, 52 

"Remey," 149-50 

Repairs, to damaged materials, 123-24 

Report of the Study Committee on 
Libraries and Archives, 41 

Research Corporation, 61 

Research Libraries Group, Inc. See 

Research Libraries Information Net- 
work. See RLIN 

Research value, permanent. See Per- 
manent research value. 

Restrictions, on use, 173-76 

Reversibility, 143-44 

RLG, 3, 33, 39, 42, 48, 54 

RLIN, 33, 42, 54 

Robinson, Lawrence, 40 
Russell, Ann, 52 

SAA. See Society of American Archi- 

Scarcity, 173-74 

Self-study project, 21-24 

Sewing, of signatures, 138 

Sizing, 73-74 

Smith, Richard, 57-58, 63, 64 

Society of American Archivists, 24, 47 

Sound recordings, recommendations 
for storage, 102 

Southern Illinois University (Carbon- 
dale, 111.), 190 

Space, and preservation, 1 1 8 

Sparks, Peter, 40, 61-62, 65 

SPEC Survey, 20-21 

Special collections, and preservation, 

Spine (book), 151 

Staff, support of, in conservation, 183- 

Stains, 138. See also Foxing; Tapes, 
removal of 

Standards, in libraries, 83 

Stauffer Chemical Company, 67 

Storage techniques, 123 

Supplies, for preservation activities, 

Systems and Procedures Exchange 
Clearinghouse Survey. See SPEC 

Tanselle, Thomas, 174 

Tapes, removal of, 138 

TAPPI MIT Folding Endurance Test, 

Technology, and preservation, 11-12 

Temperature: 87; for storage of mag- 
netic tape, 100-01 

Texas alkyls, 67 

Thymol, 126, 128 

Tide lines, 138 

Topane, 126 

Training programs, for preservation 
work, 25 

Treatment centers, 47, 51-53 

United Negro College Fund, Archives, 

Index 207 

University of Utah Conservation Pro- 
gram, 190 

University of Washington Preservation 
Planning Program, 31 

Vapor Phase Deacidification, 3, 59-60, 


VHD. See Video High Density 
Video High Density, 93 
Videocassettes, 93-94 
Videodiscs: 92-94; v . videotapes 
Videorecordings, characteristics of, 92 
Videotapes, v . videodiscs, 94 
Virginia State Library, 61 
Volatilization, 61-62 
VPD. See Vapor Phase Deacidification 

Water stains, 138 

Wei T'o (deacidification process), 3, 

63-65, 68 
Werling, Anita, 6 

Western Conservation Congress, 46 
Western States Materials Conservation 

Project, 3, 45-46 
Whitehall, Walter Muir, 44 
Williams, Edwin, 171-72, 176 
Williams, Gordon, 37 
Wire audio recordings, 95-96 

Yale University, establishment of pre- 
servation department, 39 

3M Company, and microfilm tests, 99